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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Future of the Church of Scientology

The future of the Church of Scientology is looking very bleak.

Traditionally, Scientology recruits its new members from the gullible, the hopeful, the naive and the not-so-bright.

Except for the last one, these traits are more often found in younger folk.

Scientology requires people with little "real world" experience, people not skeptical, people not hardened by years of scams, lies, tricks and broken promises. They need people who are open to the possibility that something amazing, unusual and world-changing might actually show up in a store-front in their neighborhood.

Anyone else, on hearing the claims of Scientologists, would say, "Yeah, right. Prove it!" But young people, being curious, might just say, "OK, let's try it!"

And so the church could pull young people in and start their indoctrination.

But, because of the Internet, that has changed. Changed a lot.

I hope and think that young people are still as optimistic and curious as they've always been, but they are more skeptical. The wild claims, scams, tricks and ideas that have circulated through the Internet have inoculated them against just accepting anything they see. Now they look for more information. Now they evaluate and think.

And, always, they look to the Internet for more information. Hell, they google someone before going on a date with them.

And there, on the Internet, they find thousands of websites and blogs about Scientology. A few are Church of Scientology sites with their carefully crafted presentations, a few are rabid, off-the-wall sites, and all the rest present the real facts, unfiltered and extensive.

Anyone who is curious about Scientology can find out, literally, all they want from the Internet. Not only the happy-happy stories and carefully crafted presentations, but also the dark underbelly, the bizarre beliefs, the crimes, the abuses, the lies and the fraud.

That's it for the church! Because of the Internet, and all the hard work of those who have fought to put and keep all the information out there, the primary recruitment pool for the Church of Scientology has been shut off.

The only people left who just might be sucked into the church are the not-so-bright--the target of all scams and frauds.

And, to add to the recruitment problem, the church is losing members at an unprecedented rate. Anyone with any intelligence is waking up to the fact that the Church of Scientology is not as it claims, is causing an incredible amount of harm, and it is dying.

So, what is the future of the Church of Scientology? With the smart people leaving and only not-so-bright remaining and coming in, pretty soon all that will be left will be the Church of the Not-So-Bright, lead by the Pope-of-the-Not-So-Bright, David Miscavige.

We've seen that happening, and that will continue. Those in the church will not be able to figure out simple things--like why it all keeps going so wrong, no matter how many well-aimed, Hubbardized footbullets they shoot at it.

It can only get more entertaining.


  1. Following the line of belief the soul redeposits itself in a new body after death, and given the fact that the worlds population has increased exponentially, exactly how many souls exist as they cannot increase there number?


  2. Hubbard believed and taught that there were billions and billions of loose souls hanging around, waiting for new bodies. Lots to go around!

  3. My apologies for the late response, but a friend of mine just showed me this site two days ago.

    I'll paraphrase and expand a bit on a speech I heard once (I can't remember the name of the guy who gave it, unfortunately), but basically, I think you're right on the money with why modern kids are less vulnerable to Scientology and similar scams.

    Fifty years ago, an average young person's attitude on reading something was, "it's written so it's fact." This is what they were taught (and, to a large degree, are still taught) in elementary and high school, so you can't fault them for not being skeptical - nobody warned them they should. Their instictive response to the written word was, "Fact." unless told otherwise - like if they were reading a fictional novel.

    When I was going through elementary and high school, when the 'net was first becoming a household concept, the attitude taught to kids was one of, "if it's written in a book, it's fact. If not, don't trust it." I didn't really think that made sense: after all, if something written on the Internet could be unreliable, couldn't something in a book or newspaper be unreliable, too? Furthermore, if written stuff could be wrong, then couldn't the teachers and the administration be wrong sometimes, too? And, I suspect, a lot of kids of my generation had the same thought (even though the establishment in the schools did their best to discourage this new skepticism of authority in kids, in my experience - frequently meteing out unjustified punishment to those of us who dared question 'the facts' as they saw them). My generation showed the turning point in kids' attitudes, I think. That said, we weren't really sure how to satisfy this newfound curiosity of how reliable written and spoken sources are. Thus, our instinctive response became, "Fact?" But it would take us a few years to learn how to fact-check well.

    Now, kids are taught, I'm told, to double-check the reliability of everything. And that's a very good thing. Their instinctive response is no longer "Fact." but "Fact? Fact check."

    While all that may seem very depressing - that even children are becoming jaded to the world around them, I think it's positive: It makes them less likely to get hurt by predators, and therefore more likely to lead healthy, happy lives. Furthermore, the days of optimistic and idealistic youth are not over: I can say honestly that it's entirely possible to be a cynical, optimistic idealist. I manage it. I know the world is a dangerous, nasty place at times, but I hold to my ideals, and I always hope that it will change for the better.

    I may be biased, but I don't think that's such a bad world view for kids these days to have.

  4. Re: Fact checking

    I agree. It's a very good thing. And I think the combination of cynical, optimistic and idealistic is not only possible, but good, as you do.


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