ScientologyMyths.info updated with White Snow and Freaks…

I spent some hours on yesterday and today compiling, reading, understanding and summarizing documents and websites on three issues that are pretty hot right now: “Operation” Snow White, Operation Freakout and the IRS Tax Exemption of Scientology in the United States. And I added some more stuff…. check it out.

If you got feedback, no matter what it is: send me a mail!

– Louanne

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ScientologyMyths.info updated

I updated scientologymyths.info today. Nothing fancy, just a little but of data on “disconnection”, family, sex and so on. You might want to have a look and let me know what I missed…

– Louanne

You killed me!

No, not really. I really appreciate your questions and emails and just today I heard that someone dedicated a YouTube channel to me. Flattering! I registered my own channel weeks ago but never got to produce videos for it.

I am skimming through those 300+ comments on the two channels this blog has and will find those I haven’t answered yet (or not fully). So stay tuned. For urgent questions shoot me an email: louanne@scientologymyths.info.

– Louanne

Update 22 April: Funny, the YouTube channel does not exist anymore. I wonder if some inconvenient truth brought that about.

Apologies

I got carried away in the past days and ended up discussion about “Anonymous”. I should leave this up to law enforcement and turn back to more interesting matters, such as your questions about Scientology! Which I promised to answer.

So here we go again. A short reminder: I am interested in anything and everything. You can put your suggestions here and questions here. If you are new and want to find out what this is all about, read the FAQ first.

– Lou

Breakfast surprise

The Los Angeles Times has a great cartoon page, on the weekend there are even two of them. That is about all news I usually read on paper (I confess to be an online news junkie). But today the L.A. Times surprised me with an editorial about Scientology Myths! Not the website, unfortunately. Jean E. Rosenfeld, a religious scholar at UCLA, uses Christian myths to show that each religion has one which might sound strange, or not, to those who have not studied up on the background information leading to the “myth”. He says:

“Speaking as a scholar who has analyzed new religions for over 20 years, I deplore critics who pose as experts. Scientology is a new religion, and unlike most, it may become an established religion whether the rest of us like it or not.

All religions have origin myths, and all religions keep secrets from the uninitiated. If a nonbeliever were to tell the origin myth of Christianity, it would sound no less fantastic than the Thetan myth of L. Ron Hubbard: A spirit present as God before the creation of the universe splits off from Godhead after billions of years of Earth time and is born again as a flesh-and-blood person to a Jewish woman. The son gathers adherents, casts out demons from afflicted people, works miracles and finally confronts the evil king in the Jewish capital city. The evil empire’s soldiers try, convict and kill him in a public execution. He then is resurrected before his disciples and tells them to spread his kingdom throughout the world. He promises to appear again and save those who believe in his message and condemn to eternal punishment those who do not. All of his followers will be resurrected after our Earth is destroyed by seven years of heaven-sent catastrophes that kill off most of the human race. …

Myths are symbolic expressions of existential truths; they are not literal accounts of historical events. Their truth — religious truth — is not subject to experimental verification. Religious truth sustains and organizes human societies and gives identity — and thus, sanity — to human beings. Expressing oneself religiously and symbolically is an essential ingredient of being human. Myth will always be with us, whether created by cosmologists, as the Big Bang theory, or by poets and prophets as alternative accounts of world creation.” (Los Angeles Times, 22 February 2008, Scientology Stands a Chance)

I used the chance to update the “Aliens” pages of ScientologyMyths.info with this nicely formulated viewpoint.

– Lou

Scientology Myths Statistics Page updated

I finally got the newest statistics on Scientology (from the Church of Scientology). There is no third party observer for Church of Scientology statistics, so this is the best material I could get.

– Lou

Bonnie and Richard Woods

# Comment by chansonroland on February 16, 2008 7:45 pm

In the case of Bonnie Woods, she had apparently taken the CoS to court at one point for having denounced her as a ‘hate campaigner’, hired a private investigator to follow her and her family, and providing a creditor of her and her husband with free legal assistance to sue them into bankruptcy. These sound like some pretty harsh tactics to still be using in the 1990s. What are your thoughts?

Answer (updated 25 Feb 2008 to include Church apology):

My thought on this are irrelevant. Her are some fact which you omit to tell anybody here. Bonnie Woods and her husband Richard are former Scientologists who converted to fundamentalist Christianity and live in the United Kingdom. So far so good. Now, since that time though they have engaged in what they call “Spiritual Warfare”, as their new “Christian Duty”. For more than 10 years they have spread anti-Scientology propaganda in the media and other place with the sole purpose to scare or confuse relatives of Scientologists so they would emply the Woods to “deprogramme” Scientologists.

Deprogramming: a pseudo-therapy in which the member of an unpopular or controversial religion is abducted, involuntarily detained, and repeatedly insulted/harassed/threatened by individuals, usually paid by that person’s family, until that person gives up his belief. Recently, given the bad reputation of many deprogrammers who got jailed for kidnapping, assault and other crimes, deprogrammers have adopted new euphemisms for their roles, such as “interventionists” and “exit counselors.”

This is the background to what you are refering to, which happened in 1993:

In 1993 the Woods distributed flyers outside a Scientology bookshop in East Grinstead, UK, denigrating the Church and the church members working in the bookshop. In response, the Church published a leaflet stating that Bonnie Woods was a hate campaigner against religions (not only Scientology). Woods filed suit and claimed that the Church could not state they conducted a hate campaign against religions (plural) because their campaign was only be against the Church of Scientology. Originally she also sued over a statement that she had a devious financial history (she withdrew this complaint when it became clear that she would lose on this point). The litigation was settled without a trial in 1999 and the Church of Scientology issued an apology which you can find here in full.

It states that “Bonnie Woods does not hate any religion and would not take any step to force people away from their chosen religion or encourage others to do so. While the Woods have on occasion met with Scientologists and their families at the request of their families and discussed the Church of Scientology with them, the Woods have not put pressure on them or the Church of Scientology to prevent them continuing in Scientology. Mrs Woods is sincere in her Christian faith. The publication of the allegations to her friends and neighbours in the local community was deeply distressing to Mrs Woods. In order to clear her name, in December 1993 Mrs Woods sued Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated and the individual members who had published the leaflet for libel. The Defendants have now acknowledge that the allegations about Mrs Woods were untrue.

Later, in a different legal case, Richard Woods admitted under oath that they are actually engaged in spiritual warfare against the “forces of Satan” which he confirmed included not only Scientologists, but also Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and others. He admitted that deprogramming Mary Johnston was part of that spiritual warfare, and confirmed that he and Bonnie were “exit counsellors” (deprogrammers) by profession (Source: Hearing transcript of 4th February 2003, High Court Dublin, in the case of Mary Johnston vs. Scientology Mission Dublin).

– Lou

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