Debate Magazine

Scientologist Scum & More

By Cris

I want to clear some links from my cue, so let’s begin with this superb review of Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (2013). This is the best review (out of three) that I’ve yet read; it prompted me finally to order the book. It should make a good (if depressing) summer read.

One aspect of the story that stood out is Scientology’s notorious litigiousness and abuse of our already abusive legal system. It caused me to wonder about the attorneys who represent Scientology. While I suspect that some of them are “church” members and don’t have that going for them as an excuse, it’s hard for me to understand how any non-Scientologist attorney could represent Scientology (nearly always as a plaintiff) in good faith or with a clear conscience.

As a former attorney, I’m familiar with the rationalizing bullshit stories we tell ourselves about representing dubious and fraudulent clients, but this seems a client too far. In this Business Insider piece on Scientology’s attorneys, we meet some of the scum. But the most disturbing aspect of the review is Scientology’s vicious campaign for tax-exempt status as a “religion,” which it eventually obtained after waging all out war on the government. It’s disgusting and the decision is shameful. The fact that Wright had to be so cautious about what he wrote and how he wrote it is an indictment of the system and scum.


David Miscaviage, CEO and “High Priest” of Scientology

Over at the New Statesman, Alain de Botton carries on with his campaign to mystify or “religionize” our secular or atheist lives. While I have some small sympathy for this sort of thing, I’d execute it less obviously and mechanically. This isn’t all that much different from what Emerson and Thoreau were saying, except they said it much better. Goethe got it too.

Finally, in this look at the “lost” and relatively un-contacted tribes of the Amazon, we learn that they were weren’t simply left behind. They have actively resisted modernity and retreated deep into the forest to escape its myriad effects. This seriously disrupts the standard (and normative) narrative about “primitive” tribes and “progress.”

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