The Scientologists sound utterly mad, don’t they? Not to mention creepy, as Rupert Murdoch has
I mean, really, how seriously is one supposed to take all
that talk about Xenu, and Thetans, and reincarnation, and ‘disconnection’ and
dynamic dissemination and ‘bridges to perfection’? These people could well, in the popular
vernacular, “do one’s head in”. Come to
think of it, they’ve done in hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of heads
already, including, by all accounts, that of poor little Tommy Cruise.
Creepy they must be, you mutter, and dangerous, too. But hang on a second. What about the heads that have been “done in”
by the world’s most popular religion – one of the many branched of which I was
exposed to in childhood?
Tell me what Christianity, in all its various
iterations, has done across the centuries that sounds any less weird or
dangerous than the fruitcakes of Scientology, and what methods did they employ
that were any the less questionable or sinister?
Let’s discuss for a start the fundamental belief,
sincerely held by billions around the world, in a man who came into the world
by means of a virgin birth, spent a lifetime performing miracles and then,
following his execution as a rabble-rouser, rose from the dead. If that tale is any more sensible than the Xenu
story dreamed up by the late and apparently demented Ron Hubbard, then I’m
obviously missing something. If any of
these events had occurred last week, and come to light in the pages of the National Enquirer, you wouldn’t believe
a word of it. Come to think of it, they
probably have appeared in the pages of the National Enquirer, and, of course,
you didn’t believe a word of it.
Let’s pass over the violent methodologies employed by the
Church across the centuries to propagate its fable, and to secure the loyalty
of its adherents. I’m thinking here of the Inquisition; the widespread burning
of heretics; the bloody excursions against enemies of the Church, piously
justified by the word ‘crusade’; and closer to home, in France, the slaughter
of Protestants on St. Bartholomew’s Day.
These are a mere sample from a
catalogue that fills the shelves of the Vatican
Let’s not go bother to reinforce the argument by
visiting some of the more curious tenets of Islam. It would take too long and, besides, I’m not
keen on inciting some of its more faithful followers to impose a fatwa.
Now that I’ve given the matter a thought in passing,
Scientology is starting to sound positively sensible.
Maybe I’ll sign up to learn more. Sadly, though, I don’t think I can afford to
– which probably means they wouldn’t be interested.