Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scientology and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From the Look-at-what-we-say-not-at-what-we-do department, we have the Church of Scientology vs. Human Rights.

One of the Church of Scientology's big PR stunts is their "support" of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  They have their "Youth for Human Rights International" Campaign and their "Citizen's Commission on Human Rights" and such.

And everyone is supposed to think, "Gee, the Church of Scientology must, itself, be very good about Human Rights!  Certainly they must be a Very Good Group."

But that's all just talk.  Let's check the walk.  Let's see how their actions stack up against the very document they say they support.
From the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
The Church of Scientology coerces people, especially young people, into signing a billion year contract to work for the church at slave wages of -- if they are very good and very lucky -- around $50 a week.   These staff members are worked 18 to 20 or more hours per day and are denied any vacations, weekends or any other time off -- month after month, year after year.

Every minute of the "staff member's" day is tightly controlled, with frequent "musters" and constant monitoring.  If they don't look serious and busy at all times, they get into trouble.

These slaves, I mean staff, have 15 minute meal breaks, 4 to 6 hours of "personal and sleep time" per day -- if they are lucky.  They must comply with every single order given to them by their "superiors", and the orders are constant and unrelenting.

If a staff member is from another country, the Church of Scientology steals their passport, effectively trapping them.

If someone does manage to escape from the International Headquarters, security personnel execute a well-practiced drill to track them down and then use whatever threats or promises necessary to bring them back.  If they have family members who are also Scientologists, threats against their family is a common tactic of the church.

Of course, the church wouldn't call it servitude, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what else would you call it?  The Church of Scientology violates Article 4 every day.
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
The Church of Scientology runs a number of their own, private prisons, called "RPF" ("Rehabilitation Project Force").  The church assigns members who the church deems as "bad", to these prison camps.  Those assigned have no choice and no recourse, they must submit to this imprisonment or be forever banished from their religion.

Those accused of whatever crimes they are alleged to have committed are not allowed a trial, representation, rules of evidence, or any recourse of modern justice.  They are not allowed to confront their accusers or defend themselves.  They are simply assigned to the RPF by the church.

Members of the RPF are subjected to the following cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments.
  • They are not allowed to talk to anyone, even their spouse, even their children.
  • They must run everywhere.
  • They must wear black boiler suits everywhere.
  • They are fed table scraps from the dining room after "their betters" have eaten.
  • They must submit to hours and hours of indoctrination and "confession".
  • There is no limit to their imprisonment. No matter what their "crime", they can be, and are, forced to stay in this prison for many, many years.
  • If they are "bad" while on the RPF, they may be assigned to the "RPF's RPF" which is much, much worse.
The church will claim that "participation is voluntary", but that isn't exactly true.  As the church itself would phrase it to those being sent to the RPF, "It is either the RPF or we will deny you your only hope of salvation forever."  No Scientologist would see that as any kind of choice at all.

The Church of Scientology violates Articles 5 and 9 every day.   To be honest, there are a lot more violations that I haven't mentioned here.
Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
At any Scientology organization, but especially at Scientology's International Headquarters in Hemet, California, the staff privacy is invaded to an astonishing, and criminal level.

No staff may have a phone conversation with anyone outside the base unless a security person is listening in and taking notes.  There are no exceptions.

Every single piece of mail, especially private, personal mail is opened and read by security personnel.  Mail deemed "unacceptable" will simply never be delivered to the staff member it is addressed to.  This is in direct violation of United States law.  In addition, every letter a staff member attempts to send out is first read by security personnel and may be stopped.

Staff at the International Base are not allowed to leave the base without an escort -- to ensure they don't speak to the wrong people or just run off.  In general, they simply are not allowed off the base.

As for "attacks upon his honour and reputation", if a staff member is "in trouble" (and that is most of the time) leaders of the Church of Scientology, especially David Miscavige himself, will read embarrassing confidential information from the person's private confessional folders to the entire staff at their "morning muster" -- to embarrass them, to humiliate them, to degrade them.

The Church of Scientology violates Article 12 every day.
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
While this article would be the real reason the Church of Scientology pretends to support this Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they, themselves, do not comply with this article in the least way.

Oh, yes, the Church of Scientology will support your right to choose Scientology, but if you subsequently attempt to leave Scientology, you will be punished.  Leaving is not your right. You will be declared "Suppressive" and if your family, your children, your friends, your boss are Scientologists, they will be forbidden from having any contact with you.  You could lose your job.  Married couples are forced to divorce.  If you complain or speak out against what you see as wrong with the Church of Scientology, information from your confidential confessional folders just might end up disseminated broadly.

Many, many people today have left Scientology, but keep it quite secret, so that they can remain in contact with family and friends.

The Church of Scientology violates Article 18 every day.  It is the enemy of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Like the old joke, in Scientology you may have any opinion you wish as long as it is official Church of Scientology opinion.  There is no tolerance for any freedom of opinion or expression by the Church of Scientology.

Inside Scientology, if you disagree in the slightest with any Scientology pronouncement or dogma, you will be "corrected" until you agree.  If you disagree in any significant way, you will be banished.

Outside of Scientology, it is worse.  If you speak out against the Church of Scientology, you will be declared an "Enemy" of the church, and they will come after you to shut you up.  As an "Enemy" of the church, they believe they have the right, and some would say mandate, to destroy you.  Their own policy, as written by L. Ron Hubbard, says that such enemies "May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

Does that sound at all like the Church of Scientology supports Article 19?  No, they are an enemy of Article 19.
Article 23.
  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
And we come back to the Church of Scientology's attitude and treatment of their own staff.

The Church of Scientology, especially at their higher level organizations and their International Headquarters, treat staff like slaves.
  • "Just and favorable conditions"?  Not unless you think 18 to 20 hour work days are "just and favorable".  Not unless you think constant supervision, no breaks, constant pressure, yelling and such are "just and favorable".  Not unless you think physical assaults, verbal harassment and exposure of confidential confessional information is "just and favorable".
  • "Just and favorable remuneration"?  Are you kidding?  No person can live on what the church pays.  Certainly no one is attaining an "existence worthy of human dignity".
  • "Trade unions"?  Don't even think about it.
  • "Rest and leisure", "limitation of working hours", "holidays with pay"?  Not one of these rights is allowed to workers in the Church of Scientology.  Not one.  No rest and leisure at all.  The only limitation of working hours is there are only 24 hours in the day.  And no staff gets any holidays or even weekends off.
The Church of Scientology violates Articles 23 and 24 every single day.

In other words, the Church of Scientology "supports" the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, except for Articles 4, 5, 9, 12, 18, 19, 23 and 24 -- and any other Articles that might interfere with their raking in money and abusing staff and public.

So, when you read the Church of Scientology's press releases about how "wonderful" they are because they "support" this Declaration, remember this:  They never actually said they followed the Declaration in any way, they only want you to follow it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Scientology World

Someone, a while ago, asked me to expound on what a "Scientology World" would be like, and the story about Germany would be a good place to start.

In 2008, Germany, after an extensive investigation of the Church of Scientology, declined to ban the group (which is not recognized as a religion) in Germany.  The church likes to tout this as a "win", but it was and is very, very far from the success that Scientology claims.

The German government did find that the Church of Scientology was anti-constitutional.  This is very far from finding the church "innocent".

The German constitution guarantees basic human rights, and the Church of Scientology violates human rights every single day.  The church works very, very hard to suppress free speech and freedom of religion all over the world.  The church does not support a decent wage or adequate time off for its workers.  The church runs secret prison camps where it sends its "dissidents" without due process and without recourse.

While it is true that the human rights record of the Church of Scientology is abysmal, that isn't actually what the problem is in Germany.  The German constitution is quite special.  In addition to many other good features, it also is carefully designed to safeguard the German people from fanatic, totalitarian groups bent on world domination.

And, yes, that is exactly what the Church of Scientology is.

However, the German government declined to ban Scientology.  While the Church of Scientology intends to take over the world, suppress free speech, suppress freedom of religion and suppress basic human rights, it has, so far in Germany, been unable to make much headway in its goals.  Therefore, the German government stated that they will keep monitoring the group because it is a potential threat but declined to ban it at this time.

Not banning the church may seem wrong to some, but it really is correct.  Germany grants freedom of speech even to groups that work to suppress freedom of speech.  Germany grants human rights even to groups that work to suppress human rights.  As unfair as this may seem, it is the decent thing to do.  It would only be if the Church of Scientology became an actual, realistic threat to the German people that the government would be forced to take action.

A Scientology world would be just as Germany found: a threat to all free people, a threat to democracy and the end of human rights.

Let's look at some specifics of Scientology's planned wonderful world, shall we?


Democracy would end.  There would be no elections.  The general public would have no voice in how, or by whom, they were governed.  According to L. Ron Hubbard, the "ideal government" is a "benevolent monarchy", therefore that's what it would have to be -- and you know the leader, and all people of power, would have to be Scientologists.

You have to understand that "wogs" (meaning all non-Scientologists) are, according to Scientology, "aberrated" (meaning unable to think clearly), and so no wogs would be allowed to have any power or any say in matters of importance.  Only Scientologists would be trusted in this Scientology World.

All the wog laws would be replaced with Scientology policies, because these were written by Hubbard and are the only rules the Scientology World would need.

Scientology "justice"

All wog justice would be replaced by Scientology justice.  Let us review what that means.
  • There would be no judges.  The most severe justice action would be the Committee of Evidence.  The Scientologist in charge of that sector would, as "Convening Authority", assign three Scientologists (with no specified qualifications) to sit in judgement.
  • There would be no lawyers.  The accused would not be able to bring anyone to advise them, speak for them or defend them.
  • All rules of evidence would be discarded.  Under Scientology justice, any "evidence" presented has more-or-less equal validity.  Nothing is excluded (as immaterial or prejudicial, for instance) but there would be no particular effort to be complete, or accurate.  In practice, all Scientologists are assumed to be telling the absolute truth (because they were asked to) except for the accused.  However, the "evidence" provided by the Convening Authority, no matter how vague or unproven, is assumed to be true and factual unless disproven.
  • The accused would no longer be permitted to confront or even know about his or her accusers.  In fact, in a Committee of Evidence, the accused might not hear, read or see the evidence against him or her and might not even be allowed to attend at all.
  • While an appeal is "permitted", that means little, since it just involves more of the same.
Yes, justice, as you know it, would cease to exist in this Scientology World.

And there is more.  Assuming that the Scientology world is run exactly like the Church of Scientology, then the leader or any Scientologist in a position of power, would be able to assign people to prison at any time and not necessarily for any specific crimes.  Those assigned to prison would have no appeal, would have no specific sentence duration and could be held in prison forever without recourse.

Scientology prisons would undoubtedly be patterned after the church's RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) and would carefully treat all prisoners like scum, giving them table scraps, requiring all prisoners to engage in hard labor, and to run everywhere.  Prisoners would not be allowed to communicate to anyone outside of prison at any time for any reason.  And all prisoners would be required to study and practice Scientology every day.

Human rights

Under a Scientology-controlled world, there would be no human rights.  Dissent or, indeed, even the mildest disagreement with Scientology would not be allowed.  Period.  Anyone who persisted in such disagreement would be declared "Suppressive" and would be cast out of society.

Likewise, anyone deemed "low-toned" would also not be tolerated.  Homelessness, joblessness, depression, mental illness, and so on would not be allowed.  If someone persisted in "being low-toned", they also could be "disposed of quietly and without regret".  In Science of Survival, Hubbard spoke of an unnamed "Venezuelan dictator" who got rid of leprosy by the "simple expedient of collecting and destroying all the beggars in Venezuela."  A good example of how this Scientology World would deal with such "low-toned" problems.

Other religions might be tolerated if they supported all the Scientology principles and beliefs -- since, according to Hubbard, all other religions are "false".

The idea of a living wage and decent working conditions would cease to exist.  In the Scientology world, working to further Scientology's goals should be all the reward you need.

Marriage and children might be permitted, but not if one were deemed "low-toned".

Scientology Ideals

Mostly, the Scientology world would be dominated by Scientology's ideals.  No, not the words they mouth, but the "ideals" as shown by their actions today.

The most important Scientology concept is that being "correct" (by Scientology definition) is much more important than truth, facts, evidence, honesty or dignity.  In the Scientology World, you will listen and believe everything that Scientology tells you, and you will close your eyes to the truth you can see.  In this world, you will always bow to their dictates rather than stand by what you know to be right.

The second concept is that approval, authorization, adherence is much, much more important that doing what actually works.  Hubbard has created "solutions" to every single problem that plagues mankind.  None of his solutions have been actually proven to solve anything, but they would be the only allowed solutions.  Any other solutions, no matter how effective, would be outlawed and only the approved, authorized, Hubbard solutions would be permitted.

And how soon can we expect to enjoy this Scientology world?

Luckily for all of us, the Church of Scientology religiously follows all of Hubbard's policies and procedures in its quest for world domination.  I say luckily, because the result of that is failure after failure after abysmal failure.

David Miscavige, while obviously having even greater desire for world domination, has expanded and improved on Hubbard's failure rate by orders of magnitude.  He has made unworkable solutions even more unworkable.

The Scientology world was never going to happen.