Scientology: Just another boiler room operation
Given the nature of religion, I have not objected to Scientology's claim to be just another religion. After all, like so many other religions, it is just another set of ridiculous beliefs based on a work of fiction.
I've changed my mind. In my view, Scientology is not a religion; it is just another boiler room operation obsessed with raising money. Its reported ruthless fundraising techniques put Christian televangelists to shame.
Why have I changed my mind?
A new series of articles this month in the St. Petersburg Times / tampabay.com and written by Thomas C Tobin and Joe Childs (who won press awards for their previous investigations into Scientology) examines Scientology's fundraising methods and has exposed the organization for what it is.
Here are a selection of some of the articles in the current expose:
- Pervasive pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, 'The Basics,' unleashes a sales frenzy
- A young man looked for answers, found a 'money-hungry cult'
- Shifty business: Times inquiry finds secret debits, deception after Scientology 'Basics' released
- Former Scientology insiders describe a world of closers, prospects, crushing quotas and coercion
- Scientology amped up donation requests to save the Earth starting in 2001
- Church of Scientology runs afoul of widely accepted best practices for fundraising
- Some Scientologists give until they're bankrupt
There are more articles in the series than this selection, just check the tampabay.com website if you want more.
Of course there is another side of the story - Scientology's. This is their response:
- Church of Scientology responds: Parishioners donate 'because they enthusiastically support their chosen faith'
Check it out. Make your own decision. I'll go with the investigative reporting.
As usual when I mention Scientology, I invite the representatives of the organization to respond and the response will be published.