Church of Scientology's Response To Criticism
Scientology's response to accusations of criminal behavior has been twofold; the church is under attack by an organized conspiracy, and each of the church's critics is hiding a private criminal past. In the first instance, the Church of Scientology has repeatedly stated that it is engaged in an ongoing battle against a massive, worldwide conspiracy whose sole purpose is to "destroy the Scientology religion." Thus, aggressive measures and legal actions are the only way the church has been able to survive in a hostile environment; they sometimes liken themselves to the early Mormons who took up arms and organized militia to defend themselves from persecution.
The church asserts that the core of the organized anti-Scientology movement is the psychiatric profession, in league with deprogrammers and certain government bodies (including elements within the FBI and the government of Germany.) These conspirators have allegedly attacked Scientology since the earliest days of the church, with the shared goal of creating a docile, mind-controlled population. As an official Scientology website explains:
- To understand the forces ranged against L. Ron Hubbard, in this war he never started, it is necessary to gain a cursory glimpse of the old and venerable science of psychiatry-which was actually none of the aforementioned. As an institution, it dates back to shortly before the turn of the century; it is certainly not worthy of respect by reason of age or dignity; and it does not meet any known definition of a science, what with its hodgepodge of unproven theories that have never produced any result-except an ability to make the unmanageable and mutinous more docile and quiet, and turn the troubled into apathetic souls beyond the point of caring. That it promotes itself as a healing profession is a misrepresentation, to say the least. Its mission is to control.
On the other hand, L. Ron Hubbard has proclaimed that all critics of Scientology are criminals. Hubbard wrote on numerous occasions that all of Scientology's opponents are seeking to hide their own criminal histories, and the proper course of action to stop these attacks is to "expose" the hidden crimes of the attackers. The Church of Scientology does not deny that it vigorously seeks to "expose" its critics and enemies; it maintains that all of its critics have criminal histories, and they encourage hatred and "bigotry" against Scientology. Hubbard's belief that all critics of Scientology are criminals was summarized in a policy letter written in 1967:
- Now get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts. Over and over we prove this. -- Critics of Scientology, "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter," 5 November 1967.
Scientology claims that it continues to expand and prosper despite all efforts to prevent it from growing; critics claim that the Church's own statistics contradict its story of continuing growth.
The Church of Scientology has published a number of responses to criticism available online.
Analyses of Scientology's counter-accusations and actions against its critics are available on a number of websites, including the critical archive Operation Clambake.
Read more about this topic: Scientology Controversies
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