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World

John Travolta Flies Emergency Aid and Scientology Ministers to Haiti

Celebrités sans Frontières

I thought I was hallucinating when I heard on the  news that John Travolta had piloted a plane full of Scientologists to Haiti.

Did I hear that right?

If you were asked what Haiti needed most desperately right now, would you have said food, water, shelter, sanitation, doctors, nurses?

Probably.

Would you have said Haiti desperately needs Scientology?

What has John Travolta got against the poor people of Haiti?  Why did he fly a planeload of Scientology ministers there?  Haven’t these people suffered enough without this bunch of goons performing their “healing” on the earthquake victims?

Are these people doctors?  No.  They’re followers of the greatest snake-oil salesman of all time, L Ron Hubbard, and the only reason they went to Haiti was to exploit another territory for their cult.

At a time when genuine relief flights can’t get into Port au Prince’s airport because of lack of facilities, what maniac air-traffic controller decided to let Travolta and his gang of nutcases land?  Are there Scientologists among the US military personnel in Haiti?

How is it that the followers of a con-man, a crook, a liar and a fraud could have got into Haiti ahead of genuine medics?  Who made this decision?

Make no mistake, by facilitating these idiots to blunder around the city offering  Touch Assists to people with shattered bodies, and testing them with their ridiculous e-Meters, the American authorities have prevented genuine healers from getting to where they’re needed.  While these frauds were given priority to land, genuine medical professionals wait for clearance to take off.

It seems there’s is no disaster so severe that it can’t be made worse by idiot celebrities.

___________________

Bock on Scientology

Elsewhere

Travolta airlifts desperately-needed e-Meters to Haiti

NY Times

Categories
Favourites Health Pseudoscience Scandal

What’s the Difference Between Scientology and Homeopathy?

There isn’t a huge difference between the two, it seems.

Scientology has no coherent scientific basis. Neither does homeopathy.

Scientology exploits credulous, needy people for profit. So does homeopathy.

Scientology relies on fake-scientific jargon to baffle you. So does homeopathy.

Scientology can’t survive scientific scrutiny. Neither can homeopathy.

So far so good. No surprises there.

But suppose I told you that Scientology and homeopathy have something else in common? Suppose I told you that homeopathy relies on intimidation to silence its critics? What would that remind you of?

Here’s a case where a blogger with a spineless internet service provider was forced to remove a post critical of homeopathy. Andy Lewis operates a site called the Quackometer, in which he deals with all manner of quacks, frauds and pseudoscience gobshites. Andy wrote a post called The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing, detailing the sort of unscrupulous and dangerous practices commonly found among homeopaths. He gave instances where homeopaths in Africa disgracefully claimed to be able to treat lethal diseases such as malaria, AIDS and TB.

What do you think happened?

Some crowd of gobshites calling themselves the Society of Homeopaths immediately issued worthless legal threats against his ISP.

And what do you think the ISP did in defence of Andy’s right to highlight this quackery?

I know what you think happened. You think his ISP told the Society of Homeopaths to go and bottle themselves, don’t you?

Well no. You’re wrong. What they did instead was this: they collapsed in fear. Immediately! The useless prats. They folded and made Andy remove the post but happily, thanks to Google’s cache, copies instantly reappeared all over the internet, and you can read his full text here.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about homeopathy and the ugly mindset of intimidation that attends it. For example, you might remember the mother of an autistic child who was legally threatened by a homeopath, and you might have stumbled across my views on the idea of people receiving a BSc degree in quackery. But frankly, I think it’s all gone a bit more sinister than that.

Though there was a time when only fruitcakes like Rudolf Hess believed in homeopathy, now the thing seems to have morphed into something approaching a cult, just like Scientology, and with the same sort of aggressive instinct to attack its critics.

I don’t like this. I don’t like dishonest thinking, and I don’t like fraudulent logic.

I don’t like mystification and I don’t like the way every half-educated chancer and charlatan in the last fifty years has hijacked the hard-earned knowledge of generations of good scientists and used it to baffle people out of their cash.

Most of all, I don’t like the thugs from the Society of Homeopaths trying to intimidate an honest man out of his honest opinions.

Categories
Religion

Tom Cruise and Scientology

I’m sure by now you must have seen THIS.

Well?

What do you reckon?

Did I ever tell you I once went to the spiritual headquarters of Scientology, in Clearwater, Florida?

Yes, I did. It’s true. I really did and I wrote about it here.

Naturally, I had to be extremely drunk to do such a thing, and I had to be driving a four-million-litre American car, and I had to be wearing a pair of very tasteless cut-down shorts and not-nice Jesus sandals, and I had to be listening to a lot of Jimmy Buffett music, but I managed to fulfil all these requirements — yes I did !! — and I somehow managed to make my way into the heart of Scientological good-stuffness.

Oh, and how they loved me for it, those L Ron Hubbardites. How they wanted to love me, and make me a part of their Hubbardlove plan for making everything great. How nice they were, and how caring, and how padded-shouldered the women were. That was only ten years ago, and yet how Eighties those women were, in 150 degrees of heat, with their thousand-yard smile, and their eye gloss.

Hi. I’m Tammy. And I’m Sammy. And I’m Whammy. We’ll be your brain-washers for the evening.

Did you ever see their questionnaires?

Did you?

I have a whole pile of them that the Scientologists gave me in person when they wanted me to join them, and I plan to scan these questionnaires and put them here for your enjoyment, but for now I’ll just give you a sample.

A bit of background first, perhaps, might help.

Scientology was founded by L Ron Hubbard, a bad science fiction writer who decided it would be more profitable to turn his bad science fiction books into a religion. You see, Ron taught his followers that “Thetans,” aliens from Venus, were buried in Earth’s volcanoes millions of years ago by Xenu — a vicious Galaxy-Lord. Unfortunately the Thetans got out of the volcanoes and into our brains and we have to release them so they can get back to Venus.

Hmm.

In fairness, it isn’t any less plausible than believing that God is a biscuit, but we’ll leave that to one side for a minute.

L Ron made a lot of money from this teaching in America, as one would, and eventually ended up claiming that all this horseshit constituted a Church. As part of your membership of this church, you have to hand over a huge pile of money, but you also have to go through a series of audits. This is where somebody asks you questions while you hold onto a gadget known as an E-Meter and the auditor judges your responses to the questions.

What’s an E-meter? Well, for the technically-minded, it’s an old fashioned Ohm-meter. And for the even geekier, it’s the good old Wheatstone Bridge you remember from physics classes in school.

For the less scientifically-minded there’s no problem. Remember that thing outside the shops that you had to put money in? How Sexy Are You?

Yup. That’s the E-Meter!

What do you do with it?

Easy. You just sit back and relax while a trained counsellor asks you questions.

What’s a trained counsellor? Oh, that’s easy too. A trained counsellor is someone who’s paid more money to the Church of Scientology than you have, but some day you can be a counsellor too, provided you come up with enough bucks.

And the questions? Oh yeah. I said I’d give you a sample, but this is only a beginning. I must dig out the pages the Church of Scientology handed me, and put them up here for you to laugh at consider.

Here’s a few.

Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting or fishing?

Are you a slow eater?

Do you prefer to take a passive role in any club or organization to which you belong?

Is your facial expression varied rather than set?

Do you often ponder over your own inferiority?

Could you agree to strict discipline?

Would you be able to kill small animals?

Do you twitch during the night?

Would you have more than two children, even if you couldn’t afford them?

Trust me, these questions are not invented, and there you are, answering them, while some other credulous fool, who has handed over thousands of dollars to buy the How Sexy Are You?? machine nods gravely and notes your responses.

People, I want to draw something to your attention. This is a religion espoused by a man who thinks that only Scientologists can help at traffic accidents.

There you are, with your arm hanging off and an eighteen-wheeler truck embedded in your sternum, with half a pint of blood left in your circulatory system and thanks be to L Ron!!!, you see Tom Cruise pulling up in his open-top Lamborghini. Smiling that great Tom Cruise smile, (now with added double chin).

Stand back you fucking useless firemen! you shout. Out of the way you knot of dedicated but incompetent roadside surgeons! Look! It’s Tom fucking Cruise the Scientologist! Let him through. Let him point his finger at me and free my alien so it can fly back to Venus! Let me sign all my money over to him and his crowd of money-sucking henchmen before I die.

That’s what you’d say, isn’t it, as you expired at the side of the road? With a truck through your heart?

Yeah. I thought so.


RelatedTelegraph

Hub pages

Independent UK

Gawker

Suppressive Person Defense LeagueÂ




Categories
Religion

Tom Cruise Talks Bollocks

UPDATE

It looks like the Scientologists got the video pulled from youtube.

Never mind. You can watch it HERE

After you watch it, I’d like you to reflect on just one question:

Is this man fucking bonkers or what?


Bock Joins the Scientologists

Categories
Religion Scandal

Bock Joins the Scientologists

Some years back, I called to see the Scientologists in Florida. Lovely people. Here’s my diary from that experience:
I’m getting truly sick of all these eighty-mile round trips to Tampa. It’s good for the novelty of the thing, but the American road-laws become harder and harder to understand. Where are all these cops they told us about? A guy told me the other day that traffic fines are one of the biggest sources of State funding, and maybe that’s so but what do the cops say about eighteen-wheel Mack trucks that ride your back bumper at 90 mph?

Enough. We come to what must be the high point of anyone’s holiday. This is what makes travel worthwhile. I jump in the car and head for Clearwater, hoping to find the Scientologists. Along the way, I pass the newly-opened Planet Bubba, about which there’s been a lot of stuff in the press. Seems they have this talk-radio guy here called Bubba the Love Sponge. (Don’t ask. I don’t know, all right?) Anyway, Bubba decides to open a club of some sort and all the locals object because they have enough of this particular sort of club in the area. I don’t know. Genuinely, I just don’t have that information. Maybe it’s a gym.

Guess what? I hardly go twenty miles wrong before spotting it: Dianetics. That’s all it says on the sign. Dianetics. I have found the Scientologists. My head spins with excitement as I drive past it the wrong way. Of course, I realise that this is only one of many buildings the Scientologists own in Clearwater, and also it’s important to make a distinction. Clearwater is their spiritual headquarters, not the administrative HQ, which is in California. If you ask me, this is the better choice. You can almost feel the spiritual power throbbing in the very bricks of this city. What a sensation! I’m speechless with excitement as I perform an illegal U-turn and head for Dianetics.

As I pull into the car-park (sorry, parking lot) the air fills with the whirr of a hundred security cameras, all focussing on me. Jesus, I think, what a wonderful bunch of guys. Aren’t they just so caring? Even their security cameras love-bomb you. It’s great to feel wanted. One thing worries me though: I’m wearing a T-shirt with a large cigar-chewing Poker Alice on it, I have knee-length baggy shorts and filthy old trainers. Whatever will they think?

I needn’t fret. The lobby is cool and discreet, literature strewn everywhere, invitingly, and there’s a few shelves with books (which they must, regretfully, charge for, to cover costs). I meet a great guy called Decker, who’s no slouch when it comes to accents.

Ireland, right? says Decker. I hope he’s not about to roll up his sleeve and show me a leprechaun tattoo.

Right, I confirm, giving little away.

Where you from?

I’m not quite ready to sign up for Scientology yet, so I lie to him. Dublin.

Great, he says, and moves on.

What a great guy.

I’m picking up all sorts of free glossy brochures. I have an armful of free literature and I’m about to move off when Jennifer appears. It turns out one of the brochures isn’t free. You have to pay for it, but how can you tell the difference? Maybe it’s part of the test . . . Jennifer eyes me shrewdly. Jennifer is small and maybe too young to remember eighties power-dressing, yet she has these padded shoulders and a snappy dark business suit. A suit that says I know what I’m talking about. At least, in New York that’s what the suit would be saying. Here in Florida, where the air temperature is eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit, the suit says Christ, I’m dying. I bet this suit gets down on its knees every night and gives thanks to L. Ron Hubbard, the inventor of air-conditioning. Another great, great guy, Ron. I’ll get to him.

Jennifer wants to get my name in the visitor book, but I stall. Who wants to be in the Scientology database? That’s for later, when I reach a new level of consciousness. Who knows? Maybe it’s where old Scientologists go, sucked into a computer. We joust a little, Jennifer and I. Wouldn’t I like to stay and see the L. Ron video? It’s just awesome. I agree with Jennifer: it must be awesome, but, see, I’ve abandoned the kids in a fun-park and if I don’t go now I’ll be arrested for neglect. Jennifer isn’t put off that easily. When can I make it? If I call ahead, they’ll show the video specially for me.

Can you believe it? Just for me? I’m astonished by all this kindness and a little sickened by my own lack of principles as I give Jennifer a false name and leave. It’s not that I have anything against Jennifer as a person. It’s just that, well, I’d like a chance to review some of this literature before going on their mailing list. Anyway, I feel a little sorry for Jennifer so, as I depart, I promise to come back tomorrow morning and see the video. Who can tell? With all this power that Ron has revealed to them, perhaps it’ll happen.

Driving out of the parking-lot, I get a strange feeling. What did Decker say to Jennifer?

Get out there, check that guy. Yeah, the one in the Poker Alice T-shirt. The one trying to steal our books.

I don’t want to stare, or anything, but it’s hard to shake off the thought: what happens next? As the door closes behind you, do they drop all pretence? Do the smiles melt away? Do their arms drop uselessly by their sides? Even now, as I pull onto the highway and gun the engine, are they gathered in the lobby, watching me go? Thirty, forty, a hundred of them, all squashed up against each other and watching through the smoked glass?

I get a mild attack of the heebie-jeebies and start watching out for strange cars. Just to be certain, I do two or three U-turns to keep them off the scent, and it seems to work. A strange thing though: on the way back to Water Planet, or whatever they call it, at least three cop-cars fall in behind me at various times. Can this be coincidence? You decide.

Now, then.

L. Ron Hubbard. What a name. L. Ron Hubbard, with a little initial up there in front, like a fucking periscope. I can feel it watching me. What did his friends call him? How’s it goin’, L? The nice people at Dianetics gave me a questionnaire for a free personality test and I’m having a glance through it, thinking, God, these people really are interested in me. How great!

Question 31: could you agree to strict discipline?

Hmmm! Maybe this is a job for Bubba the Love Sponge. I should call him up – he might come over.

Hey Bubba, remember me? Yeah, the night of the party. Maybe you could help out here. Bubba, am I ever disturbed by the noise of the wind? No? Good. How about muscles, Bubba? Do my muscles twitch? Come on, Bubba, there’s no need for that kind of talk. All right, I know you’re only kidding. Listen Bubba, would you consider me a slow eater?

It goes on like that for two hundred questions and they ask you the same thing in twenty different ways. Why? Can’t they read?

Do other people interest you very much?

Of course they do.

Are you readily interested in other people’s conversation?

I thought I just answered that. I can’t believe this fucking shit. They have this thing called an E-METER © invented, naturally, by L. Ron. There seems to be no end to this man’s genius. Very impressive piece of kit, the E-METER ©, with a needle that moves over a dial and what seems to be two or three digital watches built into it. You hold a pair of shiny electrodes, one in each hand, and that’s all they need to analyse your inmost feelings. Remember those machines outside the shops? How sexy are you? That’s exactly what the E-METER © is, except you pay the Church of Scientology about a grillion dollars for it. Just fantastic.

I must sign up right away.