Two things in which I don’t believe

There is something you should know about me: I don’t believe in God.

Normally, I would hope this would elicit a big “So what?” – same reaction I would hope to get about my eye color or my sexual orientation. But in the case of Scientology protesters, it matters, because it’s something that Scientologists love to seize upon: “Ah-hah! He’s an atheist! He’s opposed to religion! He wants to see all religions come to an end!”

This argument, while not applicable to Scientology (I’ll explain why in a sec), has some truth to it. For reasons that would probably sound a lot less insensitive than the next dozen words will, I do think the world would be a better place without religion.

I have a feeling that a lot of Scientology protestors, particularly those who have never been involved in Scientology, are atheists. Religion fills a need in the human soul: The yearning for there to be something beyond us, a future past the future, a greater meaning. Immortality, if you will. Some of us just buy into that. Not because we’re smarter or better or more evolved; it’s just how we see the world. I’m not opposed to the idea of a God; I’d love it if there was an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-loving Big Being who oversaw everything. (Although based on what the God of the Old Testament says about gays, goys, and girls, I’d rather not have to answer to that particular dude.) Based on the evidence, I think the existance of a God is highly unlikely. People like me just simply aren’t as susceptible to the charms of religion – nor are we suceptible to the charms of Scientology, which feeds those same needs.

So do I protest Scientology because I oppose religion in general? Not at all, because of the second thing in which I don’t believe:

I don’t believe that Scientology is a religion.

This, like my atheism, is based on evidence, except in the case of Scientology, it’s a lot more clear-cut. Scientology started out as a self-help business. It became a religion for tax purposes. Unlike my atheism, this is not a matter of opinion; Ron the Blabbermouth said it (and wrote it) himself. Repeadedly. (Brilliant con man though he may be, that narcicissm always got the better of him.)

L. Ron Hubbard evolved much of Scientology, including the UFO alien life form stuff, after deciding that a religion was more profitable than self-help. Ron learned his lesson with Dianetics: All you needed to do was read a book, maybe take a course or two, and bammo, you were a Dianetician; there was no continued income stream for Ron. You can bet your ass he wasn’t going to make that mistake twice!

Frankly, I think that by concentrating on the crimes committed in the name of Scientology, we’re missing the biggest crime of all: Scientology’s tax-exempt status.

Understand that Scientology did not get tax exemption because it is a legitimate religion. It got tax exempt status because they hounded the IRS into submission. That was no easy feat, but they did it. They did it by spending millions of “parishoner” dollars, and for what? So that they could keep the millions of dollars that followed.

Scientology as a tax-exempt religion is a crime. They are not a religion; they are a self-help business that does not actually help. If you live in the United States, you know that our government isn’t exactly flush with money. Our schools need funds. Medicare needs funds. Many of us would love to see a state-funded health system. Scientology has been keeping millions, if not billions, of dollars that could help fund those programs.

That’s wrong.

Not only that, but people like Marty Rathbun and other independent Scientology practitioners are able to claim tax-exempt status as well. Marty, next time you drive on the Interestate, send us all thank-you notes; we’re paying for those roads, you aren’t.

Listen, if people want to pay for auditing, that’s their business – but why shouldn’t Marty pay taxes just like a therapist? After all, they’re doing basically the same job.

Scientology can claim that it meets the definition of a religion; they’re big into dictionary definitions. But anyone who has experience and has gotten out will tell you Scientology is has as much in common with religion as a tree does with a Greyhound bus.

You want to see an end to the crimes of Scientology? Then let’s start talking about their tax-exempt status. Now is the time to write to your congress-people that you want Scientology’s tax-exempt status looked into. If Scientology was regarded as a business, they’d be scrutinzed as a business – and that means they couldn’t get away with the dangerous and demeaning shit they do.

Last time Scientology took on the IRS, they won because they had a bigger war chest. Now, with dwindling membership, tons of money tied up in buildings and facilities, and more and more Scientologists resisting the brutal fundraising, they might not be so strong. The prospect of a multi-billion-dollar tax bill would do them in, so they’d have to fight to the death… and death is a real possibility. Bam! Scientology problem solved.

And that’s something I do believe in.

ML,
Caliwog

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4 responses to “Two things in which I don’t believe

  1. Robert E. Biasotti

    HALELUJAH! AMEN, BROTHER! Oh, ooops! ;P

  2. Re scientology is not a religion and should not have tax exemption: Hammer, meet nail right on the head! A finer point it is hard for me to imagine being made. šŸ˜€

  3. While I fully agree that the Church of Scientology doesn’t deserve tax exemption and that it was essentially designed to game the system, I think Scientology is a religion.

    I am also an Atheist and of the view that the word “religion” should not inherently have any positive connotations. While there is overwhelming evidence that Scientology was primarily intended to benefit its founder, the evidence is pretty compelling for Mormonism as well and arguments can be (and have been) made for other religions and their founders — Saul of Tarsus I’m looking at you.

    Should Scientology be treated differently because the cynicism with which it was founded is fresher?

    While Scientology is violating even the meagre standards expected of religious organizations in the US, they could easily behave properly from a financial standpoint and still be just as harmful. The issue is that the IRS views religious activity as inherently charitable rather than basing tax exemption on actual charitable activities.

  4. I have to agree with SpecialFrog here.

    Scientology is not a religion and, It is a cult. but so are all religions as there is no such thing as God and that is a fact not an opinion.

    That being the case, any system of belief based around anything such as the spirit or a God is pure fiction, so by that same token, we have to ask why religions are allowed Tax Exempt status.

    Just as the Worlds religion nearly killed science and locked up those who thought logically, so Scientology will seek to lock those up who think logically.

    Religion’s create far more problems than they solve, and that is the acid test of any activity.

    Asking the IRS or the government to review this and come up with a summation that Scientology is not a religion is a pointless endeavor as the same foundations for the argument could be used to de-rail any religion, so stop asking for something you are never ever going to get.

    It will never happen, we might as well decide to wait for a time machine and zap LRH before he created Scientology – no congressman or woman will listen to it because it is absolutely an absurd suggestion – not to mention political suicide in a country that is primarily religious and would vote out of office anyone who actually TOOK ON Religion status.

    Rather, focus on the idiots that spearhead these religions like the celebrities of Scientology who take all the perks of the C of S’s protection against their dirty little secrets coming out, but then pay nothing when they leave. They know whats been done, stop pretending like they didn’t know about child labor laws being broken,. For fucks sake, Leah WAS a child slave and let it happen another 20 years. Sympathy for the Devil.

    Note to indi’s:

    And for Gods sake, PLEASE STOP TRYING TO DE_THRONE D.M. He is doing a wonderful job at destroying Scientology, please let him continue because only in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined such a moron with so much power making so many blunders.

    I love you D.M., you are everything I dreamed would happen to Scientology. And more pleasing than you actually doing it, is that when the critics started it in the late 90s’ we knew base don your profile what you would do, and you did it.

    But even your continued pushing despite the immense failure is just so pleasing, we just giggle to ourselves about how stupid you really are.

    Einstein defined insanity as doing the exact same thing over again and expecting a different result. You are such proof of this, you make it fun to watch.

    Try something new, we know it will be a failure, but we like variety and your little speech to us all in 1994 telling everyone we would have a SH size org at every event announced was followed by…not another single one…then you trashed the birthday game…then you re-wrote the etch…again…and again!!! Created lots of silly courses, built churches so large you will need Asian slave labor to just keep them clean..

    Love your work. D.M., your Beautiful.

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