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Difference between revisions of "Talk:Church of Scientology"

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[[User:Steven Ferry|Steven Ferry]] 09:02, 9 January 2008 (CST)
 
[[User:Steven Ferry|Steven Ferry]] 09:02, 9 January 2008 (CST)
  
::It is virtually impossible for any member of the Church of Scientology to write neutrally about their church or its philosophies or beliefs. 
+
::-Voluntary redaction made (poor judgement on my part).--[[User:Robert W King|Robert W King]] 10:41, 9 January 2008 (CST)
::In order for the common layperson to gain an understanding of what the church is about, documentation of every aspect of the church must be available to the public
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::However, in order to even gain such information requires that
+
:::A. one be a member of the church
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:::B. one be a "high enough" member of the church
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::You say that "if one is to talk of Scientology, one has to say what its axioms and philosophy and techniques state, otherwise one is pontificating into a vacuum that gives the readership no data of comparable magnitude, no reference point upon which to evaluate the data offered concerning Scientology in society."
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::The problem isn't that we are pontificating into a vacuum intentionally--this is the position the church of scientology has imposed on the entire world, with claims of "persecution" and "censorship".
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::The information that is necessary to fully explain everything about the CoS is not available to the public, which is the core of the problem in itself.  In this way, the Church of Scientology is a cult, as this is one of the exhibitions of cult-behavior, e.g. one must be in the "inner circle" to be privvy to all that is involved.
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::The other problem is that the Church actively encourages members and employs individuals to discredit those who would choose to expose many elements of the church itself.  This element of preemptive retribution or punishment is another reason why a member of the church cannot be expected to write neutrally on the subject.
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::As you mentioned, you were a part of the church, and even ejected for 5-6 years, and which we can presume you are now "back in" as a member.  why would the church kick someone out and then accept them back in?  What were these conditions?  How do we know of those conditions surrounding your history are not a conflict of interest?
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::Even proponents of the church who claim to be able to write neutrally about the church only engage in selective authoring; they do not elect to write both the good and bad elements of the church, so they cannot be trusted in this regard.
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::With respect to Citizendium neutrality policy, I personally do not condone starting from a pro (or negative) scientology stance and aim to defeat those positions in order to "slide" into a neutral position.  In order for this to sufficiently work as you suggest, anyone willing to contribute to the article must refute or rebuke whatever is stated by a member of the church, which in many cases is a difficult, yet impossible proposition mostly because anyone willing to support the church will attack the contributor and his arguments vigorously, as the church has in every instance of criticism. 
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::This is a formula for argument and dissent, which we do our best to minimize.
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::If you would truly want a neutral article about scientology, then please, convince those at the highest levels of the church to provide all information there is about the church that is locked away from the public eyes.  Can't do that?  Don't have access rights?  No privaleges? 
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::The fact is, hiding under the cloak of secrecy and privalege is information that truly everyone should know in order to take an informed stance about scientology and barring that, there will never be a truly "neutral" article about scientology. 
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::We can only write what we have to go on, and frankly if it looks bad then it isn't our fault. --[[User:Robert W King|Robert W King]] 09:12, 9 January 2008 (CST)
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 Definition Controversial religion based on the teachings of American author L. Ron Hubbard. [d] [e]

I'll be filling this article out, probably today. Combined with a disambiguation page, we'll probably arrive at: Scientology (disambiguation), Scientology (the philosophy), Scientology (the religion) and Scientology (the controversy). Terry E. Olsen 09:13, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Perhaps a change it title to Church of Scientology would be in order?—Nat Krause 19:47, 1 May 2007 (CDT)
Good idea. Then this article can become a redirect to that article. Terry E. Olsen 21:18, 1 May 2007 (CDT)
Good work. In the future, you can just use the "move" button to create the same result (I'm going to do that for the talk page). Cheers, Nat Krause 00:04, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
The AP report clearly names Udo Nagel, who is the interior minister for the state of Hamburg only. see [1] Richard Jensen 05:11, 12 December 2007 (CST)
  • I put here an AFP report that mentions Wolfgang Schäuble, who is the federal minister. --Paul Wormer 05:42, 12 December 2007 (CST)
Paul -- is it just Germany or are other EU countries also very hostile to Scientology? Richard Jensen 05:47, 12 December 2007 (CST)
Richard, I don't know for certain. As far as I'm aware, no. I know it is an issue in Germany and I probably would have known it if it had been an issue in France or the UK. Most definitely it hasn't been much of an issue in Holland, which is why I wasn't much interested until I read the draft of Steven Ferry (shiver, shiver). --Paul Wormer 05:54, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Religion

Scientology wasn't even granted tax-exempt church status until the 80s or 90s; I'm not sure it's accurate to say that it was started as a "religion" but rather it has apparently become one since. --Robert W King 10:53, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Combine pages

Please be sure to combine this with Talk:Scientology (doctrine). --Larry Sanger 10:56, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Done below. Stephen Ewen 11:36, 12 December 2007 (CST)


Church of Scientology

Church of Scientology — just placing this link here so others know it exists.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 13:26, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Draft in talk

I recommend that the article be redrafted in the talk space before appearing on the main article space.--Robert W King 10:29, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

I would agree with that. That practice works well when we're dealing with topics that are prone to a lot of controversy. --Larry Sanger 10:49, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Gentlemen, I have today set aside to work intensively on this project, and have hit a snag—someone has edited what I did while I am working on it, and now I have to merge his/her comments, but can find no such option in any of the buttons. I am happy to work on the draft somewhere else than where it is going to be edited while I am working on it, but my understanding of working in "talk space" is that this is the talk space....where we discuss the article rather than create the article. So where do I go? Would it perhaps be easier to create the whole thing off line and then post for discussion? This is a huge subject, and I find that I am travelling around the world on business almost non-stop, so my time has been somewhat thin for this project. However, I am onto it again and would like to post the next section and receive comments, so I can fine-tune future efforts. I was not aware that someone had edited my earlier post, even though I had listed it to be watched...maybe I have not done it correctly...but I must say, whoever worked on it I thought did a very good job and I am very comfortable working with whomsoever it was. Steven Ferry 11:02, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

For contentious articles the Talk space is perfectly suitable.--Robert W King 11:08, 30 September 2007 (CDT)
In that case, perhaps if I post one section at a time. I do not see how an article with this many sections and subsections, which is not properly formatted in this talk section, will be easy to manage. Am I on the right track? Steven Ferry 11:14, 30 September 2007 (CDT)
Sure! However you would like to work on it... --Robert W King 11:21, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Steven, there is unfortunately no way to merge changes automatically (not yet, anyway). You unfortunately must do it "by hand." If the edit conflict window is still open, however, that should be of great help, because it shows the difference between the text you have added and the text the other person has added.

Do bear in mind that this is a wiki, and everyone has the authority to work on any article at any time, with a few exceptions perhaps.

I think posting one section at a time for comments is a reasonable idea as well. But I do have one request, and that is that we remove the article outline to this talk page, or else your user space, Steven--detailed but unfilled-in outlines don't look good from the end user's perspective, and they tend to inhibit work done by others, in our experience. It serves as a way for one person, the outliner, to "stake a claim" to an article, which Citizens may not do. --Larry Sanger 11:23, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

I am somewhat confused. I just responded to Robert and it did not post, but instead your post came through, Larry. To address your ideas, I am happy to remove the outline, but have you alread done this, because I don't see it on this page? .... I wonder, however, how a structured article can be presented without an outline. I shall certainly try to follow one, but always open to better ideas for presenting the information. In the meantime, I am posting the next section for review. Steven Ferry 11:41, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Ah, I see the Talk secton is properly formatted...excellent! Steven Ferry 11:43, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Revision Comments

Not sure what some of this means and possibly they could be revised

  • “He founded the Church of Scientology to teach his doctrines, many of which are very tightly guarded from the general public by church officials.”

Guarded as in dogma set in stone and irrefutable to the believers or guarded as in secret and not known to any but a few?

  • “Scientology does not descend from any of the major world religions.”

Descend as in not derived or influenced or descend as a completely original concept with absolutely nothing in common with any other religion? --Thomas Simmons 17:46, 13 December 2007 (CST)

good questions. Guarded = both senses. The Church files lawsuits like crazy against any publication or unauthorized use of Hubbad's works, and claims to keep 500,000 pages of them inviolate. Members have to pay $$$ to get to read them. The Church seems to have no origins or ties to any known religion--it most resembles in my opinion Christian Science, but that is probably a coincidence. Richard Jensen 18:23, 13 December 2007 (CST)
Wrong, Scientology is nothing like Christian Science. --Robert W King 18:37, 13 December 2007 (CST)

'"Scientology as science, philosophy, and religion"'

The difficulty with describing Scientology is that, in investigating and pronouncing upon life itself, Scientology crosses into many areas of human knowledge: answering the question, “What is Scientology?” is analogous to summarizing the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

This difficulty is compounded by the new territories charted by Scientology which, while launching from the accumulated knowledge of thousands of years of thinking men, found one discovery predicting and leading to another, with the result that anyone attempting to define the mental and spiritual dimensions of life in terms of the language and perceptions of those immersed in the material world, is hard put to bring about recognition in the reader. This problem is solved partially and in broad terms by defining Scientology as “an applied religious philosophy,” but as it is the first such, amplification is required.

Scientology is a philosophy that examines, and claims to advance the understanding of, the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

Scientology was declared a religion and the Church founded in 1953 at the suggestion of some Californians involved in early Scientology, who recognized that the research path had led them into recognition of the spiritual dimension of man, thereby moving the subject beyond the purview of studies of the mind and into those of religion.

Scientology is an applied religious philosophy because it is not something to be merely discussed and thought about. Thousands of techniques requiring precise application have been spawned and are applied daily by Scientologists around the globe to improve conditions—whether of a personal nature, organizational, societal, or any of a wide range of human endeavors, such as the arts and sports.

Central to the new perspectives Scientology brings to the fields of religion and philosophy, is the rigorous research undertaken that resulted in a body of knowledge which, when applied precisely, is reported to achieve precise and invariable results. This body of knowledge, like any other science, is based upon an epistemology and axioms. The same discipline and expectations of the various sciences existing today, had not been applied, until the advent of Scientology (and Dianetics, its precursor in the field of the mind) to the fields of the mind and the spirit.

To understand better how Dianetics segued into Scientology, it is instructive to know that Hubbard’s twelve years of research into the mind were recorded and published in Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health on May 9, 1950, at the end of which book, Mr. Hubbard stated that he needed to conduct “further research into life force”x [[x DMSMH, p 481, 2007 edition]] as an apparent but undefined element influencing the mind. Within a year, he had “identified an animating force within every living thing." This he called Theta" and "distinguished it as energy existing separate and distinct from the physical universe.” He subsequently developed a highly sensitive galvanometer in Wichita in late 1951 and after additional tests in Phoenix, Arizona in 1952, became the first to claim to isolate and identify scientifically the human spirit.x Dianetics in the 21st Century, DMSMH, p 503-5, 2007 edition

While many prefer to err with Galen in denying that Scientology has scientific basis, it does fit the definition of a science: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”...with the singular exception that the language of the definition reflects Western man’s focus on the material and lack of scientific research or precedent in the humanities.

If science is defined as a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject, based on axioms and laws, which predicts and confirms phenomena and which, when it’s techniques are applied, achieves invariable results, then Dianetics and Scientology can be defined as sciences of the mind and spirit, even if no such sciences have ever before existed.

“There is something new... called Dianetics. A new science which [sic] works with the invariability of physical science in the field of the human mind. From all indications it will prove to be as revolutionary for humanity as the first caveman’s discovery and utilization of fire.”

Walter Winchell, New York Daily Mirror, 31 January 1950.

As a non-denominational Church, Scientology has no dogmas but provides information and thereby insights that each individual is expected to achieve on his or her own determinism concerning man’s spiritual nature, whatever religion he may belong to, and ultimately, whatever god(s) he may believe in.

As might be expected of a Church, Scientology runs social programs around the world that address the various issues of suffering or difficulty mankind faces, such as immorality, drug abuse, psychiatric abuses, education failures, criminality, human rights abuses, religious intolerance, and disaster relief. The technology applied in these programs, as well as those designed for businesses and organizations, is based on Mr. Hubbard’s work and is designed to achieve the aims of Scientology as expressed by him:

A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.” He went on to say, “Nonpolitical in nature, Scientology welcomes any individual of any creed, race, or nation. We seek no revolution. We seek only evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.

The Aims of Scientology, September 1965, Technical Volume #7, p 663 or http://www.scientology.org/en_US/religion/presentation/pg014.html


Dianetics—the breakthrough that led to Scientology

Dianetics, from Greek dia (through) and nous (soul), means “what the soul is doing to the body.”

Hubbard’s mainline research into the mind began in 1932 while at George Washington University, where he was studying mathematics and engineering. Positing that subatomic particles might shed light on the human thought process, he had enrolled in one of the first nuclear physics courses taught in the United States. One day, he visited the psychology department to consult on his research:

I made the horrifying discovery that nobody had the mind taped. It was very obvious that I was dealing with and living in a culture that knew less about the mind than the lowest primitive tribe I had ever come in contact with. Knowing also that people in the East were not able to reach as deeply and predictably into the riddles of the mind as I had been led to expect, I knew I would have to do a lot of research.

L. Ron Hubbard, xxxxxxxx

By 1938, his research was focused on determining how cells functioned. Following an elaborate series of experiments, he determined the common denominator and fundamental, primary goal for all life forms apeared to be infinite survival (for mankind, this does not mean merely having an existence, but includes ideals, love, and art among other vital aspects). The better an individual is able to manage his life and increase his level of survival, the greater his pleasure, abundance, and satisfaction.

Research was interrupted during World War II but intensified after 1945, when Hubbard used his enforced convalescence from his war-time injuries to study endocrinology at Oak Knoll Naval hospital. Hundreds of fellow patients, liberated from Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, were not responding uniformly to testosterone being administered by Navy physicians (under great stress, men may lose their virility and have difficulty eating or breaking down food if deficient in this hormone).

All I was trying to establish was whether or not the mind regulated the body or the body regulated the mind. Therefore, if on some of these patients hormones did not work and on some of them they did, there might be a mental reason. If those patients on whom it did not work had a severe mental block, then it was obvious that regardless of the amount of hormone or medical treatment the person received, he would not get well. If the mind were capable of putting this much restraint upon the physical body then obviously the fact that was commonly held to be true, that structure monitors function, would be false. I set out to prove this.

L. Ron Hubbard, xxx

In case after case, Mr. Hubbard used techniques he had developed to find and remove mental blocks such that the previously unresponsive patients reportedly were able, as predicted, to make the expected improvements immediately with their medical treatments. “Thought is boss,” was Mr. Hubbard’s conclusion, a finding at variance with conventional wisdom.

In the years between his discharge from Oak Knoll and the release of Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard worked two hundred and seventy three cases of all types, including many in mental institutions in Savannah, Georgia and Washington, DC.

The fundamental discoveries of Dianetics included:

  • Isolating that which undermines the basic mandate to survive, causing pain, negative emotions, irrational thoughts and self-doubts, the disappointment of unhappy relationships and the underlying reason for the failure to meet goals set: a part of the mind, operating below the level of consciousness and therefore as a hidden influence, which brings about all psychosomatic illnesses, unwanted sensations, inexplicable and inappropriate emotions (anger, hatred, fear, resentment, apathy, etc.), and irrational ideas and conduct that have all conspired to make life less than pleasurable. Mr. Hubbard called this part of the mind the reactive mind because it causes people to react instead of address their environment analytically and with an open heart.
  • Techniques that could be applied by layman to remove these negative elements from their minds and therefore their lives within a reasonably short time frame, thereby reputedly increasing their intelligence, health, and general well-being.

Specifically:

  • The mind records what an individual perceives continuously as three-dimensional mental images that contain all these perceptics, including color, sound and smell, as well as the individual’s conclusions and speculations. Without Dianetics therapy, these pictures cannot always be seen, heard, or otherwise sensed well, being nullified by the pain and negative emotions stored.
  • The analytical part of the mind observes, stores and remembers information, and uses it to compute and make rational decisions that promote survival.
  • In moments of intense physical pain and unconsciousness or moments of severe loss or threat of loss (emotional pain), the analytical mind overloads and the reactive mind takes over in the same way that a fuse takes delicate equipment such as a computer off line. This rugged reactive mind records everything that occurs on a cellular level in its own banks, unavailable to the individual's conscious recall and not under his control. The reactive mind has the power to react obsessively upon the individual at a later time when conditions approximate those existing at the original time of injury or upset, forcing irrational “solutions” on the individual by bringing about the same pain as suffered at the time (should the individual resist this mind’s warnings about the “dangers” it adjudicates the organism is once again facing).
  • The reactive mind thinks only in identities: every perceptic recorded has the same value and meaning as every other. For example, the voice of his mother = the voice of his father = the pain in his head = the smell of camphor = whatever else is recorded at that time—what Dianeticists refer to as “A=A=A” or irrationality (aberration, meaning an inability to think clearly, to make mistakes or operate on fixed ideas that are untrue). Rational thought, conversely, is based upon the ability to differentiate widely and narrowly.

In simple survival terms, the smell of damp woods and the sound of bone being crunched would prompt a cave man to rapidly depart a location on “instinct,” milliseconds before a carnivore took a swipe at him—his “instinct” being based on the last time he had heard and smelled such when his mate’s head was being severely compromised by a saber-tooth tiger.

  • This one-time survival mechanism had value in man’s early tooth-and-claw existence, but became a distinct liability with the advent of speech. When, during an attempted abortion, mother says “I can’t see anything” as she pokes a hole in the embryo’s heart with an orangewood stick (normally used to manicure her nails), then the hapless embryo records this faithfully and later on, the adult finds himself with sharp pains in his heart and wearing spectacles. He will, of course, see lots of opticians and heart specialists over the years, none of who can do anything about his conditions, being psychosomatic in origin. These commands, stored in the reactive mind, impinge upon not only the individual’s thought processes and emotions, but also the systems and organs of the body.
  • With Dianetics counseling, all the moments of unconsciousness and physical and emotional pain can be located in the reactive mind and examined until they lose their power and are simply re-filed in the analytical banks as memory, under the control of the individual.
  • A person who no longer has this reactive mind is called a Clear (in the way that one “clears” earlier computations from a calculator so as to be able to reach correct conclusions). This state is completely new in the human experience and includes
    • Freedom from active or potential psychosomatic illness or aberration;
    • Self-determinism rather than being determined by a hidden part of the mind;
    • Vigor and persistent in life, unrepressed;
    • Able to perceive, recall, imagine, create and compute at a level high—a raised IQ and swift reasoning ability;
    • Mental stability;
    • Free with emotions and able to enjoy life;
    • Few accidents and fast reaction times, good health generally.

In essence, the Clear is better able to enjoy life; being more logical and dynamic, he is better able to face up to situations and to succeed at whatever he decides to do. He also thinks better of others and seeks to assist their survival.

Dianetics has had various ramifications in society, one of which is the injunction to maintain silence around an injured/unconscious person, including during operations and childbirth (for reasons given above).

Another area of public interest is the question of past lives. Hubbard ran into these with his patients in late 1950 and found that where a patient was encouraged to ignore such incidents when he encountered them in therapy, his case would not improve. When the patient was allowed to view these incidents, they would discharge and re-file in the analytical banks, resulting in improvement for the individual. The board of the first Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation in Camden, New Jersey, tried to ban any mention of past lives for fear they would result in public ridicule, but Mr. Hubbard persisted. Addressing past lives is commonplace in Dianetics and Scientology counseling.

With over 20 million copies sold in over 50 languages and 150 countries, the original book, Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health has remained popular (it has been on over 200 best seller lists, including over 100 weeks on the New York Times best seller list—both in 1950 and its 50th anniversary in 2000). Proponents ascribe this success to the book and subject representing a much needed breakthough in the subject of the mind which is sorely needed by a world well advanced in the physical sciences yet sorely lacking a science of the mind to manage the powerful technological advances of the past century.

An early success:

A few months ago, Mrs. Martha Dildian of Suffield, Conn., contacted John B. Skupen, Boston auditor [link], and agreed to a limited amount of processing … All her life … she’d had a semi-paralyzed left arm, shorter and bent and a ‘humpback’ shoulder two inches higher than the left. After 14 hours processing, her shoulder dropped, her left arm straightened out and lengthened, and she suddenly found herself able to do things with her left arm which previously had been impossible …”

Journal of Scientology, Issue 1-G, date xx? 

The question might be asked, why has it taken man so long to discover this hidden part of the mind? Freud was the first to talk of the unconscious mind, but made no progress in identifying it, nor how and why it worked, nor developing a technology to erase it. The reasons the reactive mind was so hard to identify were identified by Mr. Hubbard: any time one approached a past painful incident, one would go unconscious as the unconsciousness in it would stir up; a person tends to shy away from pain or unpleasant emotions; the utter irrationality of the ideas expressed in the incidents; the difficulty in connecting the dots between the original incident and the first time it is reactivated, which could be decades later; and the fact that when an incident is restimulated thereafter, it generally takes about four days for the dictated pains and illnesses to manifest.[[ x]] DMSMH, Mechanisms and Aspects of Therapy, p 454, 2007 edition

Steven Ferry 11:41, 30 September 2007 (CDT)


I am holding off on a) more writing and b) posting the above, until I have had confirmation that it be on track/edits made. I will be traveling, so incommunicado for several days. Re-reading your last comment, Larry, I realize that you may be referring to the posted page in suggesting the removal of the outline, so I have obliged. For my part, I shall seek to follow it, as an outline has an obvious function in any written work, whether writtenby an individual or a groupSteven Ferry 09:11, 3 October 2007 (CDT)

Steven Ferry 19:30, 10 December 2007 (CST)The Three Parts of Man, a Fundamental Tenet of Scientology

In the autumn of 1951, Hubbard determined that Man was neither body nor mind, but a spiritual being, the source of all that distinguishes man from the animal kingdom. Hubbard used the word “thetan” to refer to this spiritual element of man that is aware of being aware: the identity that is the individual, you, the reader. Further research confirmed that the thetan could move out of the body in what Hubbard called “exteriorization”—being exterior from the body—and exist independent of the body. A being is able to see, hear, and feel without using the body’s eyes, ears, and hands. This simple ability, once experienced, results in great certainty that one is, in fact, a spiritual being, or thetan.

Hubbard delineated the three parts of Man:

  • The body as the physical component;
  • The mind, essentially comprised of pictures;
  • The thetan, which has no physical substance, but is rather the creator of things.

In Scientology, the thetan is considered the most important element in the game of life and the target for improvement through counseling, for without the thetan there would be no mind or animation of the body, while without a body or a mind there is still animation and life in the thetan.

In contrast to the ideas promulgated by psychology and psychiatry over the past 150 years, Scientology does not consider the mind to be the brain—which is a palpable part of the physical body, much like the hardware of a computer, specifically the keyboard or busbar, for the brain is simply a conduit that carries messages. The thetan uses the body (including the brain) as a communication center, something from or through which to derive sensations, and to identity himself to self and others.

In this analogy, the mind would be the software and the thetan, the end user at work on his computer. Like a database, the mind accumulates recordings of thoughts, conclusions, decisions, observations, and perceptions of the thetan throughout his existence. The thetan uses his mind in managing or controlling his body, the activity of living, and the physical universe.

Where religions have talked of and championed the soul or spirit through the ages, Hubbard not only made the fact of one’s spiritual nature self evident to any who honestly looked, but also developed techniques to increase the perceptions, intelligence, and abilities of those beings; the first being the recognition that a thetan is immortal and the freedom that connotes.Steven Ferry 19:30, 10 December 2007 (CST)

Historians

Historians of religion are accustomed to dealing with many curious bodies of belief and behavior, and therefore treat them at a distance. I tried to do that with this article. Richard Jensen 20:26, 10 December 2007 (CST)

auditing and engrams

It has been many years since I read Dianetics, but I believe that "auditing" and "engrams" are essential topics to be included in this article. David E. Volk 08:41, 11 December 2007 (CST)

View of federal German minister

Schäuble: Scientology will Macht in Deutschland

09/12/2007 09h13

©DDP/AFP - Uwe Meinhold

Hamburg (AFP) - Bundesinnenminister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) hat in dramatischen Worten vor der Scientology-Organisation gewarnt. "Scientology arbeitet auch in Deutschland daran, politische Macht und Einfluss zu erringen", sagte Schäuble der "Bild am Sonntag". Die Organisation sei als verfassungsfeindlich einzustufen, bekräftigte der Innenminister. [...]

Die Innenministerkonferenz hatte am Freitag die Prüfung eines Verbots von Scientology in Auftrag gegeben. Nach einem Bericht des "Spiegels" sehen die Verfassungsschutzbehörden der Länder derzeit aber keine Chancen für ein Verbot der umstrittenen Organisation. Auch Politiker von CDU, SPD, FDP, Grünen und Linken äußerten Bedenken gegen ein Verbotsverfahren.


Translation:


Schäuble: Scientology wants power in Germany

December 9, 2007

©DDP/AFP - Uwe Meinhold

The federal minister of internal affairs, Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), has warned in dramatic words for the Scientology Organisation. "Also in Germany, Scientology is working towards obtaining political power and influence", said Schäuble to the "Bild am Sonntag" (a German newspaper). The organization must be categorized as hostile to the constitution, emphasized the minister. [...]

Article goes on: Minister wants to forbid Scientology, but the guardians of the constitutions of the different German states do not see a possibility for a prohibition of the controversial organization. Politicians of CDU, SPD, FDP, Grünen and Linken stated objections to a prohibition procedure.


Reading this, it seems to me that getting a reasonably balanced CZ article will be a hell of a job. Fortunately this subject is completely out of my league and no concern of mine.--Paul Wormer 09:39, 11 December 2007 (CST)

PS. I qualify my latter statement. If the draft above were to become an article, I would say goodbye to CZ, so it is after all a concern of mine.--Paul Wormer 09:58, 11 December 2007 (CST)

This is possibly one of the hardest articles to write. --Robert W King 15:08, 11 December 2007 (CST)
take a look at tthe current article and please comment. Richard Jensen 15:55, 11 December 2007 (CST)
I moved the text to the Church of Scientology article. There's not much point in having a separate article on doctrines. Richard Jensen 16:49, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Well one article should be about the belief, and the other should be about the church itself; I think there's enough valid considerations to have two seperate articles. --Robert W King 20:31, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Perhaps. I'd like to see the whole lot moved to Scientology and then separate articles can develop as needed. Stephen Ewen 21:35, 11 December 2007 (CST)
the problem is that we don't know much about the beliefs. they're secret after all. Richard Jensen 22:10, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Not really true. We are given a quite full scaffolding, inclusive of commentary by ex-memebers. Stephen Ewen 03:30, 12 December 2007 (CST)
pretty dubious sources on both sides, which produces very poor analysis (as above). Scientology theology is not worth more that a paragraph in my opinion. We do need a little perspective here on the mission of an encyclopedia to cover more than fringe groups. In this case scientology theology has attracted very little attention from theologians, and we should follow suit and not exaggeratet he importance of this group.Richard Jensen 04:10, 12 December 2007 (CST)
I think part of the problem is that to know about scientology and to reveal what is unknown about it particularly as it relates to their beliefs and practices, you practically have to be an ex-member. When you become one, in some respects, it makes you a biased source. Otherwise, if you are attempting to inform the public about Scientology as a current and active scientologist, there will be bias and contention (and secrecy of course) because that's the way of the church. --Robert W King 10:47, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Currently this article is listed under the Religion workgroup. An editor would be appreciated here. --D. Matt Innis 20:38, 12 December 2007 (CST)

And now I see Politics has joined in.. how about Psychology? Or Healing arts? --D. Matt Innis 22:00, 12 December 2007 (CST)
Politics is added because it's a political issue in Germany of some importance. Otherwise "religion" does the job just fine. Hubbard thought of himself as a philosopher! Richard Jensen 22:05, 12 December 2007 (CST)

I removed the workgroup. See here for why. Richard, I tend to think you'll agree. Stephen Ewen 22:12, 12 December 2007 (CST)

I'm not sure if it shouldn't be in a political group; there have been individuals who came out a few years ago (it was on 20/20, multiple (one in 1998 "Scientology Unmasked"; and there was another on ABC news but I don't know the year.) who admitted that they worked as (more or less) spies for the Church against members who spoke against them (either because they are ex-members or work with those who try to break free of the church) in order to do things as destroy their public reputation, damage their credit etc. That sounds kinda political. --Robert W King 22:20, 12 December 2007 (CST)
I put the workgroup back in. The fact that the German government has made it a political issue is very well known--headline news last summer when a movie got censored. There is no controversy about the fact it's a political issue; indeed the US government got involved too. Richard Jensen 22:28, 12 December 2007 (CST)

Maybe the way to work these controversial ones is to add a new workgroup "Controversial" (or something like that) and let Gareth Leng practice his new role as arbitrator/neutrality editor (if that is part of our vision for his role). --D. Matt Innis 22:30, 12 December 2007 (CST)

That's a snazzy idea! --Robert W King 22:33, 12 December 2007 (CST)
the list of noncontroversial political topics is rather short. I don't think there is much controversial about this article. Richard Jensen 22:39, 12 December 2007 (CST)
As I have always have told my students, everything is political. My thesis adviser e.g., [review of one of his books here, specialized in religion and politics.

Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds that it is needlessly inflammatory. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.) That's just needlessly inflammatory and I'd like to try to keep things cool here, yes, be political in an appropriate way to facilitate the best possible articles while reducing needless conflict. Additionally, his insertion of the recent material on Germany is ill-advised at this point. This is because it takes up an undue weight in the article which tabulates to bias. I understand the need to draft things as they come, however, so I am arguing that this article needs to be drafted in draft space and not article space. Stephen Ewen 00:32, 13 December 2007 (CST)

The article has minimal bias one way or the other. The fact is the German (and Belgian) governments have made the Church a political issue (and the US State Department opposes those governments on this issue). The issue is alive right now in late 2007--and the article is based on linked AP news reports and State Department reports. Stephen wants to introduce new criteria in CZ about inflammability. So far no one has burst into flames. Richard Jensen 01:30, 13 December 2007 (CST)
My comments weren't really directed at you, Richard. With all due respect, I can't recall any instance where you've conceded a point to another, either on CZ or WP,

Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds that it is needlessly inflammatory. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.). Stephen Ewen 04:10, 13 December 2007 (CST)

I think the point Stephen is making (and I somewhat agree with him here) is that to focus on the politically controversial actions of the CoS is highly premature at this point because it will draw attention mostly to the politics surrounding the CoS, and thus destroy the "consider all angles" rule of thumb that we try to strive for.
I think we should consider ignoring the political aspect for now and stop "building a case" in that department. --Robert W King 17:31, 13 December 2007 (CST)
the idea of suppressing correct, important, timely well-sourced information so as to keep readers ignorant does not seem to be a mission for CZ. People get the same info in snippets from the media and can expect to get a solid, unbiased treatment in an encyclopedia. Richard Jensen 18:38, 13 December 2007 (CST)

Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds of civility. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.) I'm am not proposing that we censor material. My point is that the political issues shouldn't be the focus of the article, as you seem to be making them. --Robert W King 18:47, 13 December 2007 (CST)

watch the language, please. If anyone wants to add fresh information on theology, say, please go right ahead. I already added a bibliography and material on the sociology of the church. Richard Jensen 18:55, 13 December 2007 (CST)

Revamp of the article direction

Gentlemen,

My apologies for not stepping in earlier to offer some input, but for some reason I was not notified of the ongoing discussion, or of the premature postings to the article page. My revision is a quick effort to put some overview statement upon which we can build.

While one person felt anyone in Scientology could not write an article on Scientology, I fail to see how anyone who knows nothing about it, or only what can be gleaned from the media, or people's theories gleaned from other people's ideas, gleaned from other people's opinions, could do a better job.

I have four decades of experience in Scientology and have been through the ropes on it, even being thrown out of the Church for 5-6 years. The subject is so vast that even I have trouble trying to communicate succinctly what it is to an enquiring yet open mind. The original approach to this apparently contentious subject, and which I felt would be workable, was for me to provide a basic description of Scientology and the church, and then have other writers and editors play devil's advocate and input the side that I might not see or feel comfortable about discussing. In this way, as a team of professionals, we could achieve the desired result. However, if one is to talk of Scientology, one has to say what its axioms and philosophy and techniques state, otherwise one is pontificating into a vacuum that gives the readership no data of comparable magnitude, no reference point upon which to evaluate the data offered concerning Scientology in society.

In the article that I just edited, there was a strange focus on misquoted Bavarian officials expressing dislike of the Church. This is not the first time German authorities have so made their opinions known in the last century.

If someone has a dim opinion about Scientology, they can certainly express it, but Citizendium is not the forum. I wonder why an article that is meant to explain what Scientology is to an open mind, begins with various inaccurate statements and then dives straight away and almost exclusively into a recent political issue? If they really wanted to review the current German pronunciamentos, then why not also consider the history of suppression of Scientology in Germany, which the US State Department has denounced several years in a row. Why not also mention the fact that in all its years of intrusive and unconstitutional investigations, wiretapping, intimidation and Human Rights abuses of Scientologists, the German government has failed to find any illegal activities or wrong-doing. Why not mention that the IRS did exactly the same and found no wrong doing for decades on end, and in 1994, finally ended its harassment and acknowledged the Church to be a bona fide church and religion (something numerous religious scholars have pronounced upon, by the way). Why not also mention the recent acceptance of Scientology as a religion by Spain and England (and I think South Africa)? Why not, for that matter, trace back the governmental suppression around the world that began in the office of the AMA editor in May 1950, following a classic Black PR campaign against Dianetics that grew into a worldwide effort to suppress it. That would actually be a quest for the facts that leads us back to the misreported statements by the German authorities and puts these trivial statements into perspective. And why not include the tangible assistance the Church has provided the UN, for instance, in forwarding its Declaration of Human Rights? Focusing on a couple of recent spats in an effort to show how bad Scientology is, will not provide a reader with any kind of an understanding of Scientology, but merely perpetuate prejudice and misconceptions. I had thought this was the problem with Wikopaedia that Citizendium was established to reform.

The same goes for the reference to a sociological study that is not based on actual study of the parishioners and which betrays no understanding of the actual philosophy, techniques, and results attainable with them; yet the reference provides pejorative monikers (cult) and frankly unhelpful attitudes and opinions.

The direction this article was taking can be compared to Citizendium offering a text on the Roman Catholic Church that says it is "a religion that is under attack for pedophilia and being sued for hundreds of millions of dollars." What about the Catholic Church's history? Its triumphs? Its tenets? Its social programs? Etc etc etc. What a sad epitaph that would be for two millennia of dedicated, passionate, thinking men and women.

So, please, it is hard to write about something of which one knows little, or has pejorative ideas or leanings. May we revert to my providing the basic material which is then whittled down and built up into an overall accurate statement so that the readership can be well served?

I had posted an outline to give direction to the article, which I took down as I was told it would seem that I was hijacking the article. While I enjoy the freedom and creativity of writing without an outline, I know that in matters of fact versus fiction, especially in a subject as vast as is Scientology, that an outline gives foundation and structure upon which one can build. I would like to propose that I post this outline again, and that we make the first point of business, agreeing on the outline. Then we will have a collaborative effort in progress, instead of a Hydra that will take a Herculean effort to put to rest.

I apologize, I realize I forget to add my signature to the recent edits in the article .Steven Ferry 22:20, 8 January 2008 (CST)

I have reasserted my edits over Aaron Schultz' removal of those edits and reinstatement of the earlier version, for the reasons given in my comments on the discussion page. Perhaps if he reads these before removing my edits. Thanks Steven Ferry 22:36, 8 January 2008 (CST)

If I'm not mistaken, Steven Ferry has replaced the existing article with one of his own; there's very little common text. Let me inform you, Mr. Ferry, that this is not permitted on CZ, not without a lot of advance discussion and agreement; probably, it would require an editor's decision. If you persist in simply replacing the article, a constable may ban you on grounds explained at CZ:Constabulary Blocking Procedures. (See "Offenses which will result in a warning first, then a ban": "Deleting significant amounts of content (50 words or more) without explanation; or deleting Citizendium-sourced content in order to start a new article, without first fully discussing the matter and getting broad agreement, or a positive decision from appropriate editorial staff." --Larry Sanger 23:18, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Reversions

Hi all, generally, we don't revert editing at Citizendium, except in rare instances. If there is text that is not to your satisfaction, please bring it here to the talk page and discuss it with those that are concerned. Do keep you discussion professional. Remember this is a collaborative effort with the Religion and Politics workgroups. If there are any disputes, please bring it to those workgroup editors. At this point I would consider this article in its infancy and expect it will make several transformations over time, so take your time and give everyone a chance to digest your edits. --D. Matt Innis/Constable 23:00, 8 January 2008 (CST)


Text here was removed by the Constabulary on grounds of civility. (The author may replace this template with an edited version of the original remarks.)

As Matt says, Ferry's edits should go through this page first. An encyclopedia is an "outsider-looking-in" resource and has to be acceptable to enemies of the Church as well as members, according to our standard [2] policy, which says is our job to speak for the other side, and not just represent our own views.Richard Jensen 23:42, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Steven Ferry, as a constable, what I am seeing is an editor from the Politics workgroup asking you to bring your edits here to the talk page first, before editing the article. He has the right to ask that according to our policy. I would suggest that you start slow and allow others to comment as well and when we are all finished we should have a neutral and thorough article. Though I do not expect this to happen overnight, it should be possible. --D. Matt Innis 23:58, 8 January 2008 (CST)

I think some of Mr. Ferry's issues are to be listened to. "I wonder why an article that is meant to explain what Scientology is to an open mind [should be: "in neutral terms"] begins with various inaccurate statements and then dives straight away and almost exclusively into a recent political issue?", which is an issue I've felt was not neutral to place into the article until it became more developed, and stated so, and predicted it would produce problems later,[3] as has happened, but was overulled[4] by an editor who added himself as an authority here against my protests.[5][6] Steven has stated in his edits, which I assume are intended to correct current inaccuracies in the article, that Scientology is not foremost a religion as the article currently states it is, but a "religious philosophy" and that it "was declared a religion and the Church founded in 1953 (rather than the current "1950s") at the suggestion of some Californians involved in early Scientology". Maybe he's right, I don't know. Other of his edits just were not neutral.[7] I hope Mr. Ferry might read up on the fact that we are trying to write neutral encyclopedia articles here, and I hope that we all realize that we very much need a Scientologist or two who can get a good handle on writing neutrally (which some of us here also need to get a better handle on!), to help make this article acceptable to all, or as Larry recently said, at least makes us all pretty equally angry. :-) Stephen Ewen 02:00, 9 January 2008 (CST)

politics

We cover the politics (in Germany, Belgium, US) because church-state issues are main topics in politics. Most of the info comes from a mildly pro-CofS source (the US State department official report), and from standard press services. An encyclopedia has to be able to cover a big topic like Confucianism, or the Papacy, say, in a few thousand words. A much smaller religious group with less than 1% of the membership and less than 1% as much history will not get equal space, even though it means everything to its adherents.Richard Jensen 23:56, 8 January 2008 (CST)

Just to clarify: It is incorrect to say that this article is limited to just "a few thousand words," of course. CZ has no such policy, and editors cannot make up such policies themselves. We can and should have plenty of information about the Church of Scientology in this article, far more than there is now. The fact that there is a lot of information about the politics of Scientology in the article at present does not mean that we cannot (or should not) augment that information significantly. We definitely should, I think, as the Steves above maintain. In fact, I'm quite sure that Richard is not saying that we should make this article only about the politics of Scientology. (That would be, of course, completely absurd.)

Therefore, the way to proceed is to assume that we all want to article to be expanded and improved--just not replaced wholesale. --Larry Sanger 08:32, 9 January 2008 (CST)

Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate the voices of reason.

I would like to point out that I had an awful lot of text on the discussion board for comment and received none for several months. I still did not post it on the articles page, hoping for some feedback, and yet, without any discussion or alert to me, flagrantly political and one-sided and actually incorrect information was posted on the article page instead. So I posted my original words finally in place of those.

I am not insisting that my text be in the article page,of course, but why is someone insisting the existing text about Germany etc.be in the article page when it has not been discussed and agreed upon as the definitive statement?

I agree that we need to have the text discussed and ironed out and agreed upon before posting, so can we please hold to this, starting with a blank page right now?

And can we please, as mentioned earlier, as a first point of business, agree upon an outline, so that we can ensure all desired angles will be covered? I am happy to provide the first iteration for us to consider.

Steven Ferry 09:02, 9 January 2008 (CST)

-Voluntary redaction made (poor judgement on my part).--Robert W King 10:41, 9 January 2008 (CST)