As posted to ARS June 28 1998
Do you believe there are good things in Dianetics and/or Scientology? You don't have to be afraid to admit it, it's your freedom of opinion and you should not be ashamed and nobody should feel the need to hide their opinions.
If critics scare you, it's most likely because you agree with what they say more than you like to admit.
Forget for a moment the debate about Hubbard being mad or not, forget Xenu and all the incredible lies. Forget the horrible testimonies from former members. You may have the opinion that your experience with CoS was good for you, or at least not a bad one. You probably also have experienced that most of the Scientologists you met were nice people. I surely don't argue with you on that.
Try looking at what is actually happening with Scientology.
Anybody having an opinion about Scientology can't ignore the fact that more people than ever before are being made aware of its darker sides. You may agree with some of those accusations or not, it doesn't matter. What matters for Scientology is that most people who hear about CoS and listen to the representatives of it do get alarmed and worried.
It's not the critics fault there is something to criticise.
Scientology's real enemy isn't the critics, all we can do is raise awareness in peoples minds. If the criticism is unfair or wrong, I trust most people will see the truth in the end. Truth always prevail if all are given equal chances to give their opinion. Most religions manage to live very well alongside their critics, and that's how it is supposed to be in our democratic and free society. If Scientology is good, having critics should not be a threat to it.
On the contrary.
The biggest threat to your religion is the upper management in CoS. What if it's true that David Miscavige would dump you or any other good Scientologist just to secure his power? Are you willing to gamble on a management that is in a position where only your religion is at risk and not them? Is it fair to you and to what you believe in?
I think not.
If you care at all about the future of Scientology, you should considered the following issues:
- MAKE THE "TECHNOLOGY" PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
Look at other religions today, their problem is not that people have access to the teaching. Long time ago many priests argued that the Bible should not be translated to the native languages, they felt threatened by the thought that ordinary people could read and make their own opinions. All religions based on the Bible still have clergy, so the threat wasn't realistic.
- REMOVE THE POSSIBILITY OF BIG INCOME
That's the best your best guarantee against fraud. Money and assets now held by the CoS gives Miscavige and others incredible power. And power corrupts. It is very possible that they will sacrifice the good members and any good side of Scientology, in order for them to hold that power. Take control of CoS and make accounts public so that also members can assure that your shared money and assets are used in accordance to the true wish of all.
- REMOVE THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP
CoS is going downhill and taking anything possibly good in Scientology with them. The posthumous reputation of Scientology will be all the negative issues. If you let this happen. Take control of your belief and show us thet Scientologists are good and have the will to assure those concerned that you will do everything possible to make sure nobody in the organisation are hurting others.
- OPEN THE ORGANISATION
Show your good will by making information about its activities etc public. Show your will to change, and that it means a lot to you that others trust you. Even people outside CoS, since you also have to find a way to live in good relations with them.
- START FRESH
Make a public apology to everybody ever hurt in the name of CoS. It doesn't matter who's fault it was, if people feel they have been hurt then you should act. Take a stand on the different issues addressed by the critics of CoS. Also address the more problematic practises of CoS and directives from Hubbard. Admit to the errors of the past, even those in the files which still isn't know.
- END ALL ONGOING LEGAL BATTLES WITH CRITICS
Allow people who have been forced to keep their silence to again speak their mind.
- SECURE THE FUTURE
Make a plan for how Scientology can exist in society and work in CoS, without it being a threat to anybody. What will be done to assure that errors will not be repeated?
- ANALYZE THE PAST
Try to explain what went so wrong, and how it was possible.
You have the freedom to believe in what ever you want. You must find your happiness. If that is Scientology, you should fight for it. Not support the ones who corrupt and destroy it. It may sound weird now, but in the fight for your religion, the critics of the same could be your best ally.
Best wishes, Andreas Heldal-Lund
Operation Clambake: www.xenu.net
"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm."-- Marcus Aurelius