‘Going Clear – Scientology and the Prison of Belief’ Documentary

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  ian~j 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #789

    Lori Tompkins
    Moderator

    I just watched the HBO documentary ‘Going Clear – Scientology and the Prison of Belief’ which will likely get a Academy Award in 2016. I hope some folks in our group take the time to watch this.

    This Religion (which encouraged people to not believe but to apply the philosphy to their lives and see if it worked) was seeded I believe, with L. Ron Hubbard‘s 1950 book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Dianetics apparently means ‘through’ mind and the main philosophy seems to be relieving or ‘clearing’ the body of mental burdens. It seems clear that Hubbard was a nut case and pretty much created a multi-billion dollar business which he sheltered and framed and modeled as a religion.

    The Church of Scientology was first incorporated in 1953 (a 9 year), but I’m imagining the Zero Point for Hubbard’s religion was 1950 (a 6 point), considering Dianetics was a best seller and launched the whole movement. (The exact date of Dianetic‘s publication was 9 May 1950.) Sri Aurobindo left his body that same 6-powered year.

    It seems LRH (as Hubbard is called by his followers) came in as some sort of twisted culmination or meeting of the Religious consciousness and the Materialistic and expansive drive of the 20th century. It’s such a perfect perversion of the integrating impulse … a perfect shadow of the real meeting of Spirit and Matter. LRH simply milked that religious consciousness for just about all it was worth (as if he were milking Kamahdenu – the Cow of Plenty). Sri Aurobindo was emphatic that the Supramental and Integral Yoga was not and was not to become a religion. And then, the year of his passing, therein is birthed this crazily twisted and crazily lucrative Religion which was pretty much a mixture of therapy and science fiction (LRH was a science fiction writter b/f he wrote Dianetics) targeting people who wanted to access their higher potential as individuals, in order to save the world from its woes.

    Now, 65 years later, we are approaching 2016 – Sri Aurobindo’s 144th birth anniversary and 90 years into the Age of Aquarius (the Age of Unity) – and Scientology has been dealt this fatal blow. The IRS will probably even be pressured to reverse their tax-exempt ‘religion’ status and that will really be the end of it. Not that most people ever took Scientogy seriously … but it just seems to be a welcome ‘living’ symbol of the inevitable collapse of ALL religious systems of belief that people have invested themselves into (or been born into), and continue to exclude and abuse others on the basis of. It is a wonderful exposure of the corruption and abuse that breeds in man’s hollow/empty consciousness.

    Lori

  • #910

    Thea
    Moderator

    Lori, what blow is the IRS going to deal to Scientology? I haven’t been following the news, though I have read quite a bit about Scientology. Fill us in. Thea

  • #911

    Lori Tompkins
    Moderator

    After this very damaging documentary, the IRS is going to be put under pressure for allowing COS (Church of Scientology) tax-exempt status. The reason it did seems to be that COS launched thousands of lawsuits against the IRS all over the country and agreed to drop them if they were given tax-exempt status of a religious organisation. The IRS caved and gave them tax-exempt status.  From Forbes magazine:

    HBO’s Going Clear Exposes Scientology Tactics, Wealth, And IRS Church Status

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    Going Clear, from HBO and director Alex Gibney, is a stark expose of the Church of Scientology. The documentary is riveting, and the grip the cult church has on its followers is nothing short of astounding. Whether one finds solace or horror in the sharp tactics used to recruit and keep adherents, the billions of dollars in the Scientology gravy train are impressive.

    That burgeoning wealth is enabled by Scientology’s classification as a tax-exempt church. That topic too is covered in the film, though the film itself is triggering new scrutiny. Viewers may feel less tolerant of the organization than the IRS. Actress Mia Farrow tweeted that, “#Scientology is a thuggish, dangerous, cruel cult. Sign petition to revoke their tax exempt statushttps://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-scientologys-tax-exempt-status … #GoingClear.”

    Scientology has long been accused of sharp practice, harassment, even abuse. But the highly disciplined and closed-ranks organization portrayed in Going Clear operates at a fever pitch. The take-no-prisoners attitude extends to nearly all phases of the worldwide mega-business Scientology has become.

    Founder L. Ron Hubbard was against paying taxes, and famously dodged the IRS for years. The film shows his pursuit of the brass ring that an IRS church exemption would mean to his empire. After years of unsuccessful IRS exemption applications, the film says Scientology Chairman David Miscavige (who succeeded Hubbard) ordered rank and file Scientologists to file individual lawsuits against the IRS for failing to recognize it as a church.

    In 1993, the IRS was literally overwhelmed by 2,400 suits and the prospect of defending itself against all of them, the IRS agreed to grant Scientology tax-exempt status in exchange for the withdrawal of the cases. Since then, Scientology has flourished, as this 2011 tax filing reveals.

    Update: In a statement emailed to Forbes, a Scientology representative asserted that “Gibney’s claim that the Church of Scientology harassed and intimidated the IRS to obtain tax exemption to which it was not entitled is as absurd as it is false,” and that he “paints as sinister, perfectly legal and eminently justified actions” such as FOIA and Tax Court suits. The IRS, the statement adds, “recognized Scientology as a tax-exempt religious and charitable organization because it provided substantive proof on the merits, following a two-year examination, that it was entitled to that recognition.”

    There are many tax advantages of church status and an IRS determination letter. Even compared to other tax-exempt organizations, church status is the crème de la crème. For years, the IRS denied that Scientology was a church until the 2400 lawsuits caused the IRS torule Scientology was a church. The New York Times claimed the IRS reversed 30 years of precedent to grant Scientology Section 501©(3) status.

    Over the past few years, many have said that the IRS should reconsider Scientology’s tax-exempt status. Some claim to have seen coercive fundraising efforts, suggesting the IRS had the wool pulled over its eyes when it granted church status in 1993. The HBO film is fueling those comments, as a St. Petersburg Times series did a few years ago.

    If the IRS decides to take on Scientology for round two, the bout could be noisy. Churches reap a vast array of tax advantages. They even include special rules limiting IRS authority to audit a church. A “church” is not specifically defined in the tax code, but the IRS lays out buzzwords in its tax guide for churches and religious organizations, including these characteristics:

    1. Distinct legal existence;
    2. Recognized creed and form of worship;
    3. Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government;
    4. Formal code of doctrine and discipline;
    5. Distinct religious history;
    6. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination;
    7. Organization of ordained ministers;
    8. Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed study;
    9. Literature of its own;
    10. Established places of worship;
    11. Regular congregations;
    12. Regular religious services;
    13. Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young; and
    14. Schools for preparing its members.

    The IRS considers all facts and circumstances in assessing whether an organization qualifies. But unlike other exempt organizations, a church need not actually apply for tax exemption. Most churches do, but it is not technically required. Now, 22 years after the IRS gave in, there are new outcries for the IRS to examine Scientology and to end its tax-exempt status.

    It isn’t a far-fetched idea. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center reports that over one hundred 501©(3) organizations lose their tax-exempt status each year. The reasons can vary, but in the case of Scientology, many wonder how it could have collected the church status in the first place.

    For alerts to future tax articles, follow me on Forbes.com. Email me at [email protected]. This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.

  • #912

    Tim Neilson
    Participant

    Thank you for this Lori… I think I might like to post this on FB… I had a brother involved in COS and did my best to convince him that he was participating in a cult… there have been countless stories, one documented I think in Time Magazine… about the abuses.

    Tim

  • #913

    Lori Tompkins
    Moderator

    You’re welcome Tim, I just find it amazing that LRH invented this religion out of thin air … out of the realm of Science Fiction … in order to make a money, and wow did he make money. People literally bought into it. One has to pay and pay for higher rungs of teachings … and finally apparently one learns at the very high levels some very insanely crazy origin story/science fiction. I’m amazed that people haven’t gone postal/violent against COS once they learn how deeply they’ve been scammed.

  • #914

    ian~j
    Participant

    I believe Mr Hubbard was merely doing what he thought was the right thing, Lori, and from the description you give Scientology and Integral Yoga seem not so dissimilar, though a major difference would be the type of payment – money as opposed to sacrifice.

    One ought to be very careful when brandishing words like “scammed”, especially towards Scientology – from the article it is obvious they retain a company of fine swordsmen.

  • #915

    Lori Tompkins
    Moderator

    Have you seen the documentary Ian? To say that Integral Yoga and Scientology are similar is VERY FAR OFF Ian. LRH’s wife admitted that he started the religion to make money.

    ‘L. Ron Hubbard writes that, 75 million years ago, the head of the Galactic Federation, made up of 76 planets, was a being named Xenu. Faced with an overpopulation problem, he brought beings to this planet, blew them up with hydrogen bombs, and packaged them. Their spirits now infest our bodies: he says “One’s body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or to the body.” Scientologists at this level try to rid themselves of these thetans (spirits) by helping each one to remember the painful experiences of being blown up like that.’  [source]

    Regardless of whether LRH had any or some good intentions of helping people … Scientology seems to me to be the epitome of the falsehood of religions that bind people in extremely divisive structures and beliefs … vestigial structure of the Age of Pisces … what the Integral and Supramental Yoga has come to make utterly obsolete.

  • #916

    ian~j
    Participant

    I have not seen the documentary and know little of Scientology but from the description you gave

    “One has to pay and pay for higher rungs of teachings … and finally apparently one learns at the very high levels some very insanely crazy origin story/science fiction.”

    There are those that would mistakenly regard The Supramental as just that – and who could blame them? So from an uninformed point of view, and undoubtedly there are many, the two would seem not so dissimilar.

  • #917

    ian~j
    Participant

    I have not seen the documentary and know little of Scientology but from the description you gave

    “One has to pay and pay for higher rungs of teachings … and finally apparently one learns at the very high levels some very insanely crazy origin story/science fiction.”

    Some Scientologists and many others could be forgiven for mistakenly regarding The Supramental as the just that.

  • #918

    Brian Walker
    Participant

    There is a five minute video on YouTube explaining the origin/science fiction story. Scam is definitely an appropriate term!

    Here’s a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOdF_3RIXJ4

    “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.”

    – L. Ron Hubbard

    As quoted in the Los Angeles Times (27 August 1978)

  • #919

    Lori Tompkins
    Moderator

    I understand that the Supramental Descent and Cosmology and the idea that consciousness unfolds and manifest with certain harmonies and geometries in Time and Space will occur as fiction … that’s very true.

    But I am not sure what you mean about paying for higher and higher rungs of teaching. Paying who? Do you mean paying for books? The whole idea of the Supramental Yoga is that higher and higher rungs of consciousness come from life experience … ‘All of Life is Yoga’. From my experience the books of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea orient people so that they can become more conscious within the evolotionary process. If one finds no value in the books then one wouldn’t have any obligation or pressure to pay and pay for more.

    Also, there is no hidden creation story at the end of some very expensive buy in program Supramental Yoga. Unless you consider buying some book and reading them as such.

    I found more value in two of Thea’s books (The Gnostic Circle, The New Way Vol. 1&2) than in my entire college education. And in two those books  the highest rungs of Supramental Gnosis are completely laid out. So it’s quite erroneous and misleading to suggest a valid comparison between Scientology and the Supramental Yoga.

    Why feed or argue this Idea Ian? This website & forum is for people who want to engage in and focus on the reality of the Supramental Manifestation. Are you in the right place?

  • #920

    ian~j
    Participant

    I’ve only just noticed that the two posts above were actually submitted, my browser was having difficulties at the time.

    If one is simply examining the hard details of the two systems then yes, they are very different. However, from a different, wider perspective one can also see them as two similar living entities but sustained by different fuel types and their effects on the world a reflection of the Nature of those fuel types. One is fuelled by money which at this time is tainted by selfish egoism & falsehood while the other is fuelled by selfless sacrifice firmly rooted in Love.

  • #921

    Thea
    Moderator

    (I just lost another comment! And I am submitting this without the spelling check; please bear with me because that is how I lose what I write.)

    The gist of what was lost was that Ian wants to steer clear of being labelled dogmatic and narrow. All those who have been milked on USA liberalism have this concern.

    I gave the example of what I faced in my struggles to have the Mother’s original plan of the Inner Chamber built instead of the architect’s shadow version. The cry against me was dogmatic, fanatic, megalomaniac (?) ‘all mental’ (because numbers were involved!!!!). But the truth of the matter was they wanted their so-called freedom to do what they liked and not be bound by anyone’s ‘plan’. Why they needed it to be the architect’s version and not the Mother’s original to attain realisation is the question I asked and never got a reply. Indians would never have had this problem, but the western architect and builders wanted their ‘freedom’ – even if it be to construct a shadow that reveals the ego structure and not the soul as the Mother’s does – and for which reason she called it the symbol of the Future Realisaiton. That cannot and must not be said of the Auroville Matrimandir: it is perfection because never before has the ego been rendered in architectural form. Yet, there it is, while the Mother’s expresses the new realisation based on the Soul.

    Our work is especially open to the label of dogmatic because, unlike the Age of Relativism we are leaving behind, we enter the absolutism of Supermind. This, to the unknowing, appears as dogmatism. The way to avoid it is by realising the true quality of the Sanatana Dharma which is all-embracing. Not ‘tolerance’ because it implies nothing more than a benign condensation. On the other hand, we cannot water down the message to suit the liberals mis-placed perception of freedom.

    Grin and bear it, this too shall pass. Thea

  • #922

    Thea
    Moderator

    Sorry, folks, that should be condescension (not CONDENSATION!!!!) in the last para! Thea

  • #923

    ian~j
    Participant

    “Ian wants to steer clear of being labelled dogmatic and narrow.”
    I’m generally indifferent to being labelled, whether accurately or otherwise, though I’m not entirely sure as to what this statement refers. Is it the “scammed” comment, the comparison with Scientology & Integral Yoga, or something else?

    “All those who have been milked on USA liberalism have this concern.”
    Sri Aurobindo wrote in Essays on the Gita, “These are the three steps and means towards divine peace, heroic endurance, sage indifference, pious resignation.” I suppose some of these could be regarded as liberal.

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