Many countries have refused to recognize the Church of Scientology as a religion, and now German’s Interior Ministers are accusing the group of trying to secure political power and influence, calling it a money-making cult, and looking for grounds to ban it. I’m with the Germans when it comes to Scientology, which has been deemed fraudulent, corrupt, intimidating, and dangerous. But I have other issues as well.
Scientologists aren’t funny. There are no jokes that starts with, “A rabbi, a priest, and a Scientology minister go into a bar …” Jerry Seinfeld experimented briefly with the ersatz “religion” years ago, but realized his material would work better with Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Woody Allen, Jon Stewart, and Larry David than Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, and Kelly Preston. The religion promises happiness. How can you be happy without laughing?
And what’s a religion with no history, saints, resurrections, or miracles? Scientologists have nothing to put on stained glass windows? The same could be said of Quakers, a group also light on icons and stand-up comics, but they’re a legitimate, peace-loving force, deserving respect and admiration. Quakers don’t bilk their members for bucks, plus they’re the best at running non-competitive schools.
Scientology was founded in 1953, by L. Ron Hubbard. L. Ron Hubbard is a name for a golf pro or failed science fiction writer (which he was). If you want to inspire followers, you should be called Jesus Christ, Maharishi, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius, nothing more mundane than Martin Luther.
I’m suspicious of religions that work in airports, especially when they want to hook you up to an electropsychometer purportedly to measure your spiritual state with sessions costing as much as $1,000 an hour. If other religions require machines, they’re apt to be blenders and, depending on your persuasion, used when making potato latkes or mixing drinks.
The controversy over Scientology is not new. Time did a huge expose, calling it the most ruthless, terroristic, litigious, and lucrative cult, extracting more money from its members than any other religion. Amazingly, they do this with no jewelry.
Scientologists don’t get to wear a gold cross or a diamond-studded star of David. They have no cookbooks, no brisket or ham recipe passed down through the generations, no holidays where you take off from school and exchange presents. Their only perk is they never have to fast. Does that constitute “happiness?”