Toronto conference on Scientology, June 22-26, 2015

Discussion in 'Canada' started by The Wrong Guy, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  2. Random guy Member

    I'm sure Hugh is perfectly capable of answering this himself, but if I may:

    Germany and the US is two very different countries. The US constitution has no legal status in Germany, neither has the other US laws where religion have special status in the US. Germany has its own laws and its own traditions. Basically, the German juridical and political system can decide an organization is an abusive business with an anti-constitutional program no matter whether is a fishmonger, boyscout troop, golf club or a Buddhist temple.

    Whether the German clams has a sincerely held belief that what the organization does is good is entirely beside the point. Someone conspiring and defrauding in the name of religion is still conspiring and defrauding, and it's still not legal.

    The question of whether the organization is a religion or not don't enter into it. If you want to approach it from a phenomenological perspective, the German standing is that scientology is a religion (not that it matters) and an anti-constitutional abusive business.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Hugh Bris Member

    I agree with Xenophon. I thought I made that obvious.

    What I am saying is that, for my friend, no matter what you, me or Xenopohon thinks, COS IS her religion. I may think Scientology is a laughable deceptive long con game (and I do), but to my friend it is her religion. I HAVE to take that into account. I don't have to agree with her that Scientology IS a religion, but I have to accept that for her, it is.

    and to DH, God is not falsifiable. That is the point of a belief system, no proof needed, just belief.
  4. BLiP Member

    • Like Like x 3
  5. "The German government has for quite some time maintained that the chief purpose of Scientology is not religious, but economical in nature. According to the Government, Scientology disguises itself as a religion if this might be advantageous."

  6. It is a religion by the definitions used by anybody studying religion. Seriously, try to define "religion" in a way that includes Buddhism but excludes Scientology.

    The only criteria you can really use to separate Scientology is that unlike Paul of Tarsus or Mohammed, we can prove that Hubbard was a con man. However, this criteria would also exclude Mormonism from being a religion. :)

    The point is, the whole "it's not really a religion" is a bullshit waste of time. Unless you are going to claim that some religions are "true" in some sense there is no inherent difference between a religion that was made up recently or one that was made up a long time ago.

    The Church of Scientology is a criminal, profit-seeking enterprise. The IRS agreement is probably unconstitutional but even then they are failing to follow the meagre requirements it imposes on them. However, the IRS is constitutionally prohibited from deciding what is and is not a religion. They can only assess whether an entity meets the requirements of a bona fide religious organization, which clearly a criminal, profit-seeking enterprise does not.

    I doubt the IRS agreement can be reversed in the current political climate, but this conference is topical in Canada where the CoS has consistently failed to get tax exempt status. Unlike the US, the Canadian constitution limits freedom of religious practices to those that can be "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society". Beverley's involvement will make the output from the conference more likely to be taken into consideration when the CoS has another run at Revenue Canada.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Anybody? Did "New Religious Movement scholar" J. Gordon Melton say that? Did the Guardian's Office, which started the Scholar Program in the early 1970s, and has been corrupting academia ever since, say that?

    It's very important to David Miscavige that the general public accept his organization as a bona fide religious organization. That hasn't happened yet. If you want to help him - as do the deceived, mind controlled, and cowed, victims of his machinations - then go right ahead.

    Not all of us are that cooperative. We don't wish to assist David Miscavige in his efforts to mold public opinion.

    A gimmick sometimes utilized is to join and assist the critics of Scientology while they criticize Scientology, BUT to insist that David Miscavige's organization is truly a religious organization. This should be done emphatically enough that "anybody" (as you say) would automatically, and as a given, and without thought, assume that this is so.

    That's a propaganda target that Miscavige is aiming for.

    I and others choose not to assist him in that propaganda effort.
  8. Read the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article on religion, for instance.

    Scientology underwent a deliberate effort to meet the definition of "religion". It would be surprising if after going through that process it failed to meet the definition.

    However, as I clearly stated in my post, Scientology being a religion and the Church of Scientology being a bona fide religious organization are largely unrelated.

    Catholicism is a religion but the Mafia -- while arguably Catholic -- are not a bona fide religious organization.

    People get the idea that something can still be a religion without justifying the behaviour of its adherents (corrupt televangelists, religious terrorists, etc.)

    Arguing about whether it is a "real" religion just bogs you down. Ignore it or accept it and focus attention on what the group is actually doing.

    As I said previously, Pastafarianism is as much of a religion as Scientology. It is perfectly reasonable to make this explicit comparison when the religion question comes up.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. You don't get it. Some of us are not cooperating with Scientology's "intention."

    Deal with it.
  10. I get it, but words mean things whether you like it or not.

    If you want to waste your time fighting against definitions feel free.
  11. Not cooperating is not fighting.

    The topic is corporate Scientology's religious cloaking, which is cynically used as a fraudulent means of empowering and protecting corporate Scientology.
  12. Random guy Member


    The organization is clearly not religious. The "pay for salvation" scheme, insincere outreach and obvious enrichment of the top leader makes it a criminal economic business. However, for some the goblygook clearly serve as a religion (as Hugh demonstrated). Separating the goblygook from the organisation is the key.

    This is why the Dror Centre is actually doing some good. It helps prove that scientology = CoS isn't true.
    • Like Like x 4
  13. The topic is the organization.
  14. Ersatz Global Moderator

    Incredulicide for the love of all that is holy please stop reporting derails in this thread. You've got 20 reports open!!!!
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Random guy Member

    Yes, but the term "scientology" can refer to both. This is why I'm always careful to specify.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Ersatz Global Moderator

    22! I get it stop or I'll temp ban your ass one day for each report I close!
    (not really but still please stop)
    • Like Like x 3
  17. DeathHamster Member

    Once again, this is not about belief systems.

    This is about classification. Any definition that can't exclude anything doesn't meet the definition of a definition. If we admit that there seems to be no useful definition of religion, and ignore the "religion or not?" question as meaningless, then we can move on things that have real importance.
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Hugh Bris Member

    Defining religion could indeed be a problem, since it contains no substance. If it's about the father in the sky, then it has no subject matter. Hard to define something that doesn't exist except as a concept in people's minds.
    What does a unicorn look like? A dragon? A leprechaun? Well, they look like whatever the person wants them, or believes them, to look.

    I am not trying to define religion. That's above my pay grade. I am simply stating that I am personally aware of a person who says that COS is her religion.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. The sainted Kirsty has the final, definitive answer to that^ :

    • Like Like x 1
  20. BLiP Member

    "Scientology is a religion because it is a belief system" means, by implication, that any belief system is a religion. Capitalism under this premise could, for example, qualify as a religion - and doubly so for its metaphysical aspect of the skewed application concerning Smith's "invisible hand". Of course, capitalism is not a religion, and nor is Scientology.

    Aristotle provided the means for proving this with his philosophical approach of defining something by what it is not. This approach has been used for thousands of years and is applied every day in medicine when doctors diagnose.

    So, lets examine the central activity of Scientology. What it boils down to is the covert application of psychological techniques in order to obtain deeply personal information so as to use that data against the person for monetary gain and/or behavioural control. That's it. Everything else is a distraction from that core function. With this is mind, for Scientology to be considered a valid religion, then so too must fraud and extortion. Also this . . .

    • Like Like x 2
  21. Random guy Member

    The problem is that there is no operational definition of religion. Before that appears, the question is moot.
  22. BLiP Member

    We know what a religion is NOT.
  23. RightOn Member

    Denise Brennan's book needs a reboot in the press.
    I am sad she is not around to witness these new chain of events.
    I hope she is smiling somewhere. I don't believe in that stuff, but I still can hope it.
    • Like Like x 2
  24. Hugh Bris Member

    Having the IRS determine if a group has charitable status is purely an artifact of our tax system.

    The main reason we care about how to define a religion is because of the tax status, Without the tax status, it would hardly matter if people called their belief system a religion or not.

    The invisible hand is Smith's metaphor for what we now call emergent order. And since we are communicating via an example of emergent order (language), that shows it's not a 'belief system' but a real phenomenon that can be studied.
  25. BLiP Member

    Who is this "we" of which you speak? Regardless of any potential argumentum ad populum attempted, the position described is ridiculous, cf: the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which, incidentally, this year celebrates the ten year anniversary of its 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status). In short, a religion is not defined by its tax status and, in fact, the IRS is forbidden by the US constitution from determining what is and is not a "religion". The fact that this strange argument can exist at all is because of the even stranger position of religion within US society. Scientology is not, for example, deemed by the tax authorities to be "religious in nature" where I live and in many other countries. A religion, however, is a religion regardless of where it is in the world and whether or not it pays tax. Scientology can be found in many other places, some of which insist that it pay tax, and is not a religion.

    In addition to being ridiculous, the position is fallacious in that "two wrongs do not make a right". Scientology obtained its tax-exempt status by fraudulent means. On that account, any benefit it extracts as a result is additional fraud and seeking to defend its "religious nature" because of a wrongful decision by tax authorities supports that fraud. In short, such an argument is just the sort of apologetics OSA laps up.

    Again with the "we"?? Regardless, capitalism is a "belief system" and, just like religion, is a real phenomenon that can be studied. "Emergent Order" is a semantic tool used by defenders of capitalism in order to distance the subject from the metaphysical. The technique is to cherry pick economic statistics generated from equally imaginary concepts (i.e., the availability of infinite resources) to derive validity for what is in actuality a seriously flawed theory derived from a fundamental misunderstanding of what Smith was talking about.

    But, like I said, if the argument is that "Scientology is a religion because it is a belief system" then so too is capitalism (or, to avoid the main point being derailed into economics, insert any other non-religious "belief system") a religion: a logical conclusion that, in the real world, is patently false.
  26. Hugh Bris Member

    OSA OSA OSA, huh? How funny.

    I apologize for speaking for you.

    For me, the tax issue is the key. Take away that and you undercut the whole organization
    Then please tell me what Smith was talking about. You seem to know, but didn't say.
    Tell me the flaw in Smith's formulations.

    And then explain how language developed. Was it invented and given to us, or did it emerge from the interactions of people over time? Is so, then isn't that exactly what I mean by emergent order? Isn't law exactly that, an emergent order? Isn't the economy an emergent order?

    look around, Blip, you'll find examples of emergent order everywhere.
  27. Random guy Member

  28. BLiP Member

    Dunno what's so funny about doing OSA's work for it, but apology accepted. Also accepted is the position that Scientology would be entirely undercut if it were to lose its tax-exempt status. Still, with a billion dollars in cash reserves and, I guess, another billion dollars invested in real estate, Scientology is going to be with us for some time yet. Alas. The "key issue", as I see it, is not so much the tax status as much as the total criminality of Scientology and demanding that authorities take action. There is no statute of limitations on conspiracy.

    There was no flaw in Smith's work. The term "invisible hand" first appeared in his 1759 The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a work in which "capitalism" is never mentioned which, considering capitalism is immoral, is not surprising. The "invisible hand" was also used as a metaphor in his 1776 The Wealth of Nations to support the concept of domestic production and the work of individuals in that economy. You may not know this but "domestic production" - as opposed to importation - is an anathema to capitalists. You will have to read those works to know what Smith was talking about and how, in context, the role the "invisible hand" plays in Smiths ideas. In essence, Smith would be mightily protesting about the TPPA.

    When bringing up the term in reference to capitalism, its best not to confuse it with the wider idea of "emergence". Doing so might lead to an accusation of equivocation.
  29. Hate to interrupt Hugh Bris' lecture on Adam Smith but does anyone know when the videos of five days of talks at this latest conference are going to be available for viewing?

    I had assumed they would be posted on this thread.
  30. You'll have to take Jim Beverely's course - he owns the copyright and the recordings are being used by him as teaching aids.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  31. That's assuming he hasn't handed them over to OSA for editing to show how crazy apostates are.
    • Dislike Dislike x 2
  32. Are you kidding?

    So all this fuss over a conference that will remain out of the public domain indefinitely, except for selected bits to be shown to the students of a small college as they study "apostates"?

    You're kidding, right?
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  33. But not to the general public?

    There was nothing stopping "schools and universities around the world" from studying the already existing and publicly available talks, interviews - and other material - about Scientology.

    It wasn't as though they didn't have access to most of the information before.

    Can someone explain the logic behind limiting the audience of these videos?
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  34. Hugh Bris Member

    How do you account for the sudden increase in wealth that started in about 1800?

    He wrote both books during the same time period. Are you seriously stating that he was writing a book in support of morality while at the same time writing a book in support of immoral activity?

    I think we must have read different books.

    As for domestic production being anathema, that can't be, since domestic production is required for foreign trade.

    I think we have entirely different understanding of what the term means.
    from wiki:
    I love that you consider the greatest engine of wealth ever devised-free markets- as immoral. That is one of those really silly misapprehensions about what the market is. Capitalism is responsible for our ability to support 7B people. Capitalism is responsible for us talking to one another on this forum.

    And emergent order is responsible for anonymous, Chanology and this board, and the computer you are typing on.

    Capitalism, the greatest engine of prosperity ever seen. Able to reverse 100K years of poverty, and with no end in sight as to what we can accomplish, given the freedom.
    • Like Like x 1
  35. Reviewing this thread, this is where I got the idea that, not only could "Earl and Pat" (OSA) "see the film," but that "anyone" could see the record of the event.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  36. Thanks for bringing this thread back online.

    I was at the conference. Filming will be available to all and updates on the release will be posted at the conference website:

    (This was discussed and with great anticipation because many attendees have their own websites and YouTube channels and want the truth spread far and wide.)
  37. Thanks for the information.

    The agreement seems to be to allow OSA to view all content first and then consider any corrections desired by OSA.

    The question is, will we, ultimately be seeing the same videos that OSA will be seeing, or will we be seeing edited - corrected for OSA? - versions?

    In any event, when do you think these videos will be available?
    This message by bARFIE has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
    • Dislike Dislike x 3
  38. failboat Member

    What's your basis for this assumption? The attendees are the ones who got to view all the content first (live), and they will be able to confirm whether the video is released in full or not when it comes. There's no need for you to make assumptions, and it is dubious that you would assume the worst - it's almost as if you're here to cast aspersions.

    Beverley only said he would let OSA see the video. He did NOT say they would see it first, though, like you're assuming.

    It is pointless to speculate. The fact is that, as I already pointed out, the attendees will confirm for us whether the video documentation that is released is complete.

    The organizers have this to say:
    The entire conference will be filmed by a professional film crew.

    We will have details on getting access to all filming shortly.
    source -


    If you're eager to see the videos, check the link above like I'm doing every day. Also, like me, you can shut your mouth and stop posting about OSA while you wait for the videos, and let actual attendees confirm whether they're posted in full or in edited form.
    • Like Like x 2
  39. BLiP Member

    Meanwhile, Scientology is still not a religion.
    • Like Like x 1
  40. Yes it is.
    • Dislike Dislike x 2

Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins