Social Question

Parrappa's avatar

How come Scientology is laughed at?

Asked by Parrappa (2428points) April 24th, 2010

Isn’t it just as ridiculous as all other religions when you step back and really examine them? This isn’t meant to mock religion, it’s merely a question of why one is ridiculed while the other is widely accepted.

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54 Answers

filmfann's avatar

No, it’s ridiculouser.
Aliens put the souls of the beings they hate into an Earth volcano, and that is where all the negative feelings come from.
I find it easier to believe the Earth is on the back of a giant turtle swimming thru a cosmic ocean.

Sarcasm's avatar

1) Because it’s new. It didn’t have a chance to solidify itself in human culture
2) It’s created by L. Ron Hubbard. a SCIENCE FICTION author
3) They use a lot of strange terminology. Thetans, OT level
4) There’s a Galactic Lord Xenu.
5) Hubbard had made himself filthy stinkin’ rich with Scientology
6) Scientology costs. A lot. If you want to truly know about it, you’ll have to spend $300,000 on courses and books.
7) There’s so much controversy surrounding it. They have their own military, the Sea Org. The mysterious death of many people, Lisa McPherson for example. There’s actually an entire page dedicated to the controversies on Wikipedia. Scientology controversies

edit: Just as a note, I am a non-believer of all religions, so I’m not going to try to defend any other ones saying they’re less crazy.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

The same reason everything else is laughed at. From a certain perspective everything looks crazy. Although, I will admit there are an awful lot of perspectives from which Scientology looks crazy.

Coloma's avatar

Jeeez…everyone that knows anything knows that we live in a snowglobe in a Gary Larson cartoon.

Factotum's avatar

I am inclined to agree that they are all similarly, if not equally, ridiculous if you step back. the difference – to me at least – is that a freshly minted ‘religion’ such as Scientology is a scam without even tradition to mitigate against its excesses. Additionally, while most religions can be accused of promising something that they cannot prove they can deliver, only Scientology charges money per training level.

@filmfann I too find the giant turtle to be more compelling than the idea that we are made up of some kind of bummer particles called Thetans.

earthduzt's avatar

well one reason is because they surround themselves with controversy, such as an “attack the attacker” policy. Anyone who publicly attacks them they will start a full investigation on you attempting to get any info on you available and display it for the public to see. It’s Hubbard’s “fair game” rule…..well @sarcasm pretty much summed up everything I was going to say lol

Ria777's avatar

more people should take the Church of Scientology, though not in the way that the Church would like. it does terrible things to its members. it persecutes outsiders. most Church members, by the way, won’t ever find out about Xenu, unless they found out about it from outsiders or as outsiders. (also, I suspect that the current head has done away with the Xenu doctrine. just a suspicion I have.) again, though, evil, evil religion.

I dislike the emphasis on Xenu. it almost lends credibility to the Church’s statements that outsiders oppose their beliefs. beliefs though don’t factor into it. it has to do with the Church’s actions.

escapedone7's avatar

I am not laughing. I consider them a cult. Cults are typically very controlling and brainwash and over control their subjects. It usually is led by a sociopath that gets off on playing powerful guru. I see at is no different than the cult that neutered and sacrificed themselves when a comet went by. Christianity is not normally a cult but some have used it and twisted it to create cults. Kool Aide suicides result from such mind control. After hearing about them stalking people who gave them negative media attention, and their retaliations against people who leave, I think they are far far too controlling. It stinks of cult. In his own way, Charles Manson was very much like a cult leader, manipulating his followers to do his dirty deeds for him. The scientology subjects that are lashing out at people who defy the church are merely “Manson women” in another shape and form. Who is sitting on the throne now that old Ron kicked the bucket and went to be with Xenu?

earthduzt's avatar

I wonder if the Reptillians are their sworn enemy…

Ria777's avatar

about the “they have their own military” accusation… the Sea Org doesn’t have weapons, as far as I know (and if they do, they use them to stop Scientologists from escaping). LRH had served in the navy and gotten kicked out of it. he simply wanted to recreate it. also, he wanted a mobile base so as to not face arrest.

Qingu's avatar

@filmfann, I don’t think “Space Emperors putting souls into a volcano” is more ridiculous than “a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father getting himself killed to save humanity from his own desire to punish them for disobedience, which is ultimately caused by a magical evil force “imputed” onto us from our mythical ancestor because he ate a magic fruit at the behest of a talking snake.”

Christianity is really just about the silliest proposition I’m familiar with.

anartist's avatar

Because it’s bullshit.
Because they use strong-arm tactics to keep you in the fold.
They use brainwashing techniques.
They use ‘blackballing’ techniques to isolate you from your loved ones

crazyzo2000's avatar

WHAT is he even saying in that video??

Draconess25's avatar

Because the name is redundant:

An ology is a science. So it is the Science of Science?

Factotum's avatar

@crazyzo2000 I don’t know but I imagine having a high-profile movie star speak on behalf of Scientology like that did a lot for recruitment – in that even more people avoid Scientologists than ever before.

earthduzt's avatar

Here is the true nutiness of scientologists, accusing this guy for murdering someone, beating his wife, etc. Here they all have the same glassy eyed stare…scares the crap put of me.

ETpro's avatar

The word, cult has a specific meaning and that meaning differs substantially from mainstream religions. Scientology is a cult—just one that avoided the self-destruct trap that so many cult leaders fall into. None of the world’s major religions are cults.

filmfann's avatar

@Qingu Did you consider the difference between a Science Fiction writer pulling this out of his ass, and testimony from many witnesses, supported by miracles? Has any Scientologist performed a miracle, with the exception of convincing so many about this bunk?

jrpowell's avatar

“If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion.” L. Ron Hubbard

Response moderated
j0ey's avatar

Tom Cruise….....need I say more?

Qingu's avatar

@filmfann, what testimony are you referring to?

The four legendary, unsigned, undated manuscripts, three of which are heavily derivative of each other (except where they flatly contradict each other), all of which are dated by scholars to at least several decades after the person in question died? Riiiiiight.

What do you think about the story about Muhammad riding up into the sky on the back of a flying donkey? It was a miracle, reported by “many witnesses” and recorded in the Bukhari hadith. I think it’s about as nonsensical as stories about flying saucers. Or magic Jewish zombies rising from their graves.

Qingu's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard, Scientology, unlike Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, at least gets the shape of the world correct (it’s a sphere—not a flat expanse capped by a solid dome that holds up an ocean).

I mean… yes, Scientology is based on science fiction. But your “slightly dumb” religions are based on Mesopotamian mythology. Which seems at least as dumb to me as science fiction.

Qingu's avatar

Also, as weird, disturbing, and cultish Scientology is, at least their sacred texts don’t command genocide and slavery, and at least they’ve never (for example) went on a violent crusade-style war against a rival religion, or led inquisitions, or flown airplanes into buildings killing 3,000 people to get in their space thetans’ good graces.

filmfann's avatar

@Qingu No, Scientolgy is all about the money.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

Battlefield Earth was good though. Well, the first two thirds were, anyway. After they take back Earth the book just drags. Scientology, and how it came from a science fiction author, all of its tenets, and the fact that it actually became a viable religion would have made a totally implausible work of fiction back in the day. If I had read that in novel form, Hubbard would have lost all credibility in my eyes.

Bizarre how truth really can be stranger than fiction. Probably because fiction has to make sense or the viewers/readers get pissed and move on. Reality doesn’t have that handicap.

Qingu's avatar

@filmfann, Christianity has often been about the money.

And the religion on which Christianity was based, Judaism, was hilariously corrupt. Have you read Leviticus? Ever notice how Yahweh likes his sacrifices seasoned with salt and herbs? Surely it’s just a coincidence that the priests get a cut of the sacrifices… and you’re supposed to leave sacrifices for breaking any one of a list of hundreds of nonsensical/imaginary “sins.”

I don’t see what that has to do with the “ridiculousness” of either religion, though. Though the whole “my deity requests well-seasoned meat and grain sacrifices” is both corrupt and ridiculous.

Ria777's avatar

@Qingu: I mean… yes, Scientology is based on science fiction.

untrue, though the first article on Dianetics did appear in an sf magazine. (LRH and its editor knew each other and had worked with each other for a while.)

Ria777's avatar

@Qingu: Also, as weird, disturbing, and cultish Scientology is, at least their sacred texts don’t command genocide and slavery,

LRH’s Science of Survival does suggest rehabilitating people who fall below a certain level on the Tone Scale (in Scientology the Tone Scale that means a rating of spiritual-emotional well-being) and if that fails to “dispose of them quietly and without sorrow”.

the Church has also set out to “Clear the Planet” and take out all of what they call SP’s or Suppressive Persons.

and at least they’ve never (for example) went on a violent crusade-style war against a rival religion, or led inquisitions,

on the subject of inquisitions, they have an internal secret police called OSA. that deals with threats to the Church from within and without. they have a culture of suspicion and fear. they have a penal colony set up called the RPF for dissenters. all true.

Google OSA, “Clear the Planet”, RPF +Scientology. you can find abundant documentation of everything I have said in this post.

last, while you say “cultish”, Scientology defines how a large scale cult operates. (as opposed to a smaller one on the level of a few dozen people.) other than the entire state of north korea, I can’t think of a better/worse example of one.

Qingu's avatar

@Ria777, as bad as that stuff is—I’m familiar with the dark side of Scientology, and you will get no argument from me that they’re terrible and dangerous—they haven’t committed mass murder yet. Unlike the other major religions.

The Islamic states of Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as Taliban-controlled areas in Asia, are other prominent examples of large-scale cults. The Catholic Church also operates like a large-scale cult.

Ria777's avatar

@Qingu: you know, I don’t have a lot of love for the way that the Abrahamic religions have operated, either.

you can’t compare a religion with a tiny sprinkle of people scattered across the whole world (mainly in the u.s., though) to whole theocratic states.

ShiningToast's avatar

@Draconess25 The word Scientology is a pairing of the Latin word scientia (“knowledge”, “skill”), which comes from the verb scīre (“to know”), and the Greek λόγος lógos (“word” or “account [of]”).


What you’re saying would be scienceology.

Ria777's avatar

Church of Scientology compared to the Catholic Church: as I said above, the Church of Scientology has much smaller number of members. (less than 100,000 members. maybe half that?) therefore they can exert much more direct control. as an example, the Catholic Church doesn’t expel lay members. the CoS will put higher-ranking members in the RPF or excommunicate you and make it so that your friends and family in the Church will never ever talk to you again. (they call this a disconnection order.) it will squeeze money out of followers* to buy more courses and to contribute to the “Ideal Org”** campaign. et cetera.

*—video footage of this:

**—a scam to buy up buildings currently vacated as a result of the housing bubble now, while prices remain low. having done this, they can re-sell the buildings for a profit. by “Org” they mean a branch of the Church.

anartist's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That ad probably really irks the Navy.

plethora's avatar

Most of you folks on this thread ought to consider forming your own rock band, You’re mighty damn good at singing the same key. Only problem, every atheistic threads sounds the same to me.

BTW…Scientology is not considered a religion. It is considered a cult.

DarkScribe's avatar

I think that Christianity is just as ridiculously implausible as Scientology. As for money making, the Catholic Church has sucked far more money from their followers than Scientology can ever hope for. At one time the Catholic Church used to “sell” forgiveness for sins. Maybe that was what inspired L. Ron Hubbard.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

You’ve all got it wrong. The universe exists in the pouch of a kangaroo riding on the back of a giant sea turtle. I have that on the best authority (divine revelation).

One of R.A. Heinleins finest works was a parody on Scientology (he and Hubbard were former friends) and most other religions. It’s a much better read than the “holy books”.

Ria777's avatar

@DarkScribe: As for money making, the Catholic Church has sucked far more money from their followers than Scientology can ever hope for.

collectively, maybe, but not per person.

anartist's avatar

which book?
interesting they were friends.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@anartist My namesake. They were friends from the late 30s up until Hubbard started the Scientology bit. The publisher John W. Campbell Jr. introduced them.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Ria777 collectively, maybe, but not per person.

Back in the middle ages they could make L. Ron’s efforts look miserly. Nowadays it is less on a per capita basis, but not then.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@DarkScribe They had a regular price list for “indulgences”. That’s how the cathedrals were built and the Crusades financed. Each bishop had an archdeacon, whose job it was to squeeze as much cash out of the faithful as possible.

CodePinko's avatar

It’s no more bizarre that believing you are eating your God’s flesh and drinking His blood.

cazzie's avatar

‘You’re not fooling me…. it’s turtles all the way down.’ Yeah… it’s all odd and nuts when it’s something you haven’t grown up with. People have an uncanny way of being able to hold conflicting ideas in their minds and believe in both, fully. Self deception often aids in building a sense of self and belonging to a larger group. Those needs seem outweigh the need for rational thought and truthful understanding of the world they live in. Dealing with autistic individuals who have no need for the sense of self or belonging, the concept of religion makes absolutely no sense. We’re a strange lot.

DarkScribe's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Each bishop had an archdeacon, whose job it was to squeeze as much cash out of the faithful as possible.

If it wasn’t for “Mad Monks” Boney M would not have had so many hits.

This brings back memories:

Coloma's avatar

I live in a mountain river community and there is a little secluded road near me called ‘Heavens gate.’ It disappears into a deep, dark little hollow in the woods..I always thinkpof that cult when I pass it. lol

Buttonstc's avatar


Well, speak of “whirling dervishes” ha ha.

That was quite a delightful clip. Catchy tune I can’t get out of my head. Loved the costumes.

Now I see where Lady Gaga got her inspiration. Ra Ra….

Draconess25's avatar

@ShiningToast Well, you get what I’m saying! The name sounds funny!
@plethora I’m not atheist, but I don’t believe in organized religion. I worship Nature itself, not deities that represent it.

Ria777's avatar

@DarkScribe: Back in the middle ages they could make L. Ron’s efforts look miserly. Nowadays it is less on a per capita basis, but not then.

okay. still, we live today, not back in those days, so we can concern ourselves with the present, not the past.

also, I have the impression that you don’t know much about the CoS. LRH died in the ‘80’s. it has had a different and equally bad leader since that time.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Ria777 okay. still, we live today, not back in those days, so we can concern ourselves with the present, not the past.

Actually I will concern myself with whatever takes my interest. As I am sure you do.

As for COS, it would be difficult for anyone who reads news, let alone works in media, to be unaware of the current state of affairs regarding the church and its leadership. They are constantly in the headlines.

deni's avatar

because its laughable!

mattbrowne's avatar

We should not laugh at them, we should point out they are a dangerous cult.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Atheists laugh at it because it gives credence to how ridiculous religion is (and no @plethora many do consider it a religion and would be offended at you saying it’s a cult) and religious people laugh at it because they don’t get irony.

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