By Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
Since 1993, the U.S. government has recognized Scientology as religion for tax purposes. The religion of Scientology takes millions from people every year and while they literally run many into bankruptcy, many of the religion’s leaders pull in over half a million dollars a year each.
The fact that Scientology is allowed to take tax cuts like the Catholic Church, Judaism, and Islam get in this country is just so backwards. Scientology is not only a church founded on exploitation, but one that stands on a slew of human rights violations. They cannot be allotted the same tax cuts as true religious organizations.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was quoted by his ex-wife saying, “you don’t get rich writing science fiction, you get rich starting a religion.”
Also, something that many overlook when discussing Scientology: Dianetics, which is a metaphysical relationship between the body and mind was originally a separate movement started by Hubbard before he morphed it into Scientology in 1954.
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental House was a book published by Hubbard as an alternative self-help option to psychology in 1950. The book sold extremely well in its first year and Hubbard was making good money.
Hubbard also co-opted his theory on Dianetics with the use of Electrodermal Meter in 1951, often selling the meter with his book adding to profits.
However, in the years leading up to 1954, Hubbard ran into a slew of legal troubles resulting from the fact that Dianetics was from the medical science he branded it as. This led to a number of law suits, which in turn led to Hubbard having to file for bankruptcy.
Hubbard, who was a failed science fiction writer, seemed to be exactly where he started as Dianetics had fizzled out and his money was gone.
But, in 1954 Hubbard got the idea to start a religion that co-opted with Dianetics, which he called Scientology. Referring to it as a religion essentially freed Dianetics from having to prove any of what it encompassed as scientific fact. Hubbard also structured the church so that in order to move up in the church and become “clear” using Dianetics you needed to invest thousands into the church. Hubbard also used his followers as his slaves after taking their money. As the church grew in number the abuse just became worse and throughout its existence thousands of people have left in order to tell their horror stories of Scientology.
The fact of the matter is that Scientology was founded with the sole purpose of exploiting people for their money. While religions in general have been exploited throughout history, they were not created for exploitation as Scientology was.
Believe it or not most people that join the church are not even told the absurd story that Hubbard created as the story behind Scientology until they have already put millions into the church. Actor Jason Beghe attributed the fact that once he achieved the level at which he was able to hear Hubbard’s story of Xenu, he was in shock of how absurd it was. Beghe claimed that the story made him regret the time and money he had invested into Scientology almost immediately.
By giving Scientology recognition as a religion the U.S. government is essentially giving them a tax break for ruining people’s lives. Scientology is just as, if not more dangerous than a cult and rather than treating these people like they are an actual religion we should be ashamed that the organization is even allowed to practice on U.S. soil. While many do not realize it, it takes an estimated 300,000 dollars to become “clear” which is the goal for Scientologists. A person literally gives away the amount of money that a three bedroom house sells for in Massachusetts.
Scientology’s track record for human rights is just as horrifying as the one they have for exploitation. Several once-prominent members of the church have since disaffiliated with it and admitted the church was abusing its members harshly as well as stalking members who had become disenfranchised with the church.
Spanky Taylor, who was John Travolta’s secretary while she was a part of the church has come out and told the world about her time at a Scientology reeducation camp that was set up by the church in order to brainwash as well as torture members into being compliant with anything the church asks of them.
Taylor also went into detail about how she almost lost two children because of the church as one was abused and malnourished while in the church’s care. Her other child was at risk of dying while she was pregnant as she was staying in the camp and being fed small amounts of table scraps once or twice a day as her only means of food.
As I watched Taylor speak about this camp in the HBO documentary film Going Clear, the best way I could think of describing these camps was a concentration camp. Scientology was created for nothing more than the exploitation of those who are unlucky enough to buy into their propaganda, which is why it is not a modern religion.
It is the exploitation and lying that devoid Scientology of any credibility as a religion. Those who believe in Scientology are being brainwashed by the figure heads of the religion and robbed for everything they have.