We can get so lost in the Church of Scientology's justifications for each and every strange, unethical, illegal and convoluted action of theirs that we forget how very far from honest and normal the church is.
Take, for example, the way the Church of Scientology attempts to recruit new members.
What does a normal religion do? Why, they might get a listing in the local paper's Religion Section. They might put of one of those message signs in front of their church or temple, telling people when their services are. I've even occasionally seen a few mailings. That's normal.
What does the Church of Scientology do?
They pretend they have "the solution to illiteracy" and attempt to get their "Study Technology" into schools in a covert, stealth recruitment effort. They don't admit up front that this is Scientology. When their vaunted "Study Technology" is debunked by respected educators as pretty darn worthless, they ignore it and keep trying to fool schools into allowing them in -- in other words, it isn't really about improving education.
They pretend they have "the solution to drugs" and attempt to con people into going to their "Narconon Centers" in a covert, stealth recruitment effort. They don't admit up front that this is Scientology. When communities and families find out that Narconon's reported statistics are false, and their "solution" really fails most of the time, the Church of Scientology ignores it and keeps trying to fool the vulnerable and their families into coming to their Narconon Centers -- in other words, it isn't actually about handling drug problems.
They pretend they are "helping disaster victims" with their Volunteer Minister program. The church orders some Scientologists to act as Volunteer Ministers and sends them out every time there is a disaster, but without any medicine, without food, without supplies, without materials for shelter. Why do the Volunteer Ministers show up? They bring materials for dissemination and then attempt to start Scientology courses in a covert, stealth recruitment effort. When the real relief agencies expose their bogus actions the Church of Scientology ignores it and keeps showing up at disaster sites -- in other words, it isn't really about helping disaster victims.
They pretend to give "Stress Tests" at tables set up on public streets and in malls in a covert, stealth recruitment effort. They don't admit up front that they are Scientology, they have "Dianetics" signs on the tables. When these "stress tests" are exposed as meaningless sales tricks, they ignore it and keep setting up their little tables, hoping that someone will be fooled -- in other words, it isn't really about finding and handling real stress.
And so it goes.
Do you see the common thread here? All these actions are covert and stealthy actions. When debunked as worthless, these actions are always continued because they are actually recruitment efforts. The Church of Scientology is not open. It is not honest. And the church certainly is not normal.
Even before Scientology became the punchline for jokes, they operated this way. This isn't a recent phenomenon. David Miscavige has certainly made it worse, but L. Ron Hubbard specified these kinds of covert, stealthy recruitment actions in his policy letters many years ago. They have always hidden who they were and what they were really doing.
Well, back to that comparison of the Church of Scientology with what you'd expect from an honest and normal organization:
If a product is good and the organization behind it is honest, you don't need to trick people into trying it.The fact that the Church of Scientology uses tricks, lies and covert, stealthy actions for recruitment says it all.