What's Wrong with Scientology?

The risks American soldiers are facing in the Middle East has renewed my disgust that L. Ron Hubbard lied about his navy record and Scientology continues to propagate those lies. In fact, Hubbard's service record ranged from mediocre to poor. Repeating Hubbard's lies may not be the worst thing Scientology's ever done, but I still find it despicable.

Why do people protest Scientology?

Scientology locks people up.

There are over two dozen allegations that Scientology has held individuals against their will.These illegal acts were not committed by rogue Scientologists - they were in accordance with Scientology policy.

Scientology held Lisa McPherson against her will for 17 days, according to Scientology's own logs. She died in their custody. The state of Florida decided not to prosecute the two felony charges filed against Scientology in her death after Scientology used relentless pressure to get the medical examiner to make a partial change in the cause of death. Her estate sued Scientology for wrongful death and false imprisonment; the suit was settled in May 2004, with all details kept confidential..

Scientology lies.

Lying to people to get their money isn't just unethical -it's illegal. It's called fraud.

Scientology claims there is a scientific basis for all their processes. There isn't. Scientology claims it's compatible with other belief systems, like Christianity. It's not. Scientology claims to be the fastest-growing religion in the world, with 8 million members, utilizing infallible technology developed by a physicist and war hero. They're lying.

Scientology is breaking the law.

In addition to false imprisonment and fraud, Scientology engages in the illegal practice of medicine by prescribing auditing and vitamins to replace legally-prescribed medical treatment.

Scientology also extorts money from its members, telling them it's scientifically proven that their lives will become worse if they don't pay for expensive auditing.

Scientology has a long, well-documented history of criminal activities.

High-ranking Scientology executives were convicted of extremely serious crimes in the United States for breaking into government offices and stealing documents. Founder L. Ron Hubbard was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case, and the defendants stated in their stipulation of evidence that, at all times, he acted as supervisor of the illegal activities.

Scientology itself was convicted of similar crimes in Canada. When Scientology then tried to destroy the reputation of the prosecutor in the case, they were hit with the biggest libel fine in Canadian history.

L. Ron Hubbard was convicted of fraud in France.

Scientology attacks free speech.

Scientology says that "public statements against Scientology or Scientologists," "writing anti-Scientology letters to the press," and "testifying as a hostile witness against Scientology in public" are all "Suppressive Acts" - high crimes, according to " Introduction to Scientology Ethics." The book goes on to say that people who do such things "cannot be granted the rights and beingness ordinarily accorded rational beings."

In accordance with this policy (and others like it), Scientology has tried to silence all criticism:

Scientology framed journalist Paulette Cooper for sending bomb threats after she wrote The Scandal of Scientology.

Scientology sued book and magazine publishers - including Time magazine - in an attempt to prevent any future criticism by scaring publishers with the prospect of enormous court costs.

Scientology sued critics for copyright infringement, even though the copyrights to some of the documents in question may have been lost to the public domain years ago.

Scientology tried to unilaterally shut down the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup - unintentionally bringing Scientology to the attention of hundreds of free-speech advocates.

Scientology imposes gag orders in settlement agreements, preventing those who have suffered most from telling the world what they know.

Scientology routinely threatens legal action against critics, alleging copyright infringement, trademark dilution, and dissemination of trade secrets - often in situations in which its allegations are baseless.

Scientology hurts people.

Scientology routinely pressures members into spending more money than they can afford on expensive courses.

Scientology's disconnection policy destroys families.

Scientology betrays the trust of well-intentioned people by falsely claiming to have a scientifically-proven technology to save the world.

Scientology ruthlessly attacks its critics with everything from frame-ups to unannounced visits to the homes of family members to libellous fliers distributed to their neighbors and business associates.

And sometimes, Scientologists die under suspicious circumstances.