Of all the weird religious cults to appear on the Net, the one you're likely to hear the most about is Scientology. That's because the "church" of Scientology is waging an active campaign against the Internet, in an attempt to silence their critics and keep people from learning the truth about the organization. A wealth of information about Scientology exists on the Net, such as in the Introduction to Scientology page. Of course, it wouldn't be fair if we didn't present their point of view. Note how this site is tailor-made to present Scientology as a bastion of goodness and purity…while at the same time blaming the enemies of Scientology (i.e. psychiatry and the organization's critics) for all the problems taking place on the Net. Note also how absolutely no mention is made of the Web pages that criticize Scientology, or of the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.
What Scientology wants you to see
I've had more personal experience with Scientology than I can stomach, and the Introduction to Scientology site will tell you all you ever wanted to know about the Sons of Elron and their organization. But if you're looking for ludicrous Bulldada entertainment, there are two sections of the Scientology Web site that are especially worth seeing…
- The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which was founded to give free reign to L. Ron Hubbard's obsessive hatred of psychiatry. Hubbard honestly believed that a conspiracy of psychologists and psychiatrists has been responsible for every human malady and injustice ever committed, and the CCHR is the best look into his mind that you could hope for. The twisted, maniacally hate-ridden ranting of Scientology is revealed when you look at the CCHR's publications, with titles such as Psychiatry: Creating Racism! or Psychiatry: Education's Ruin! or a dozen others. See it to believe it.
- Psychiatry - An Industry of Death. If CCHR isn't enough to blow your mind, take a jaunt over to Hollywood, California and see their very own museum dedicated to exposing the evils pf psychiatry!
- And on a lighter note, you simply must take a look at Ron the Music Maker! This may be the most unbelievable, hilariously embarassing site on the entire Web…but if it's not, then please tell me where you can find something worse. Learn about Hubbard's mastery of no less than three musical instruments – the banjo, ukelele, and harmonica – and listen to The Road To Freedom, produced by Scientology in the 1970s in an attempt to get Hubbard onto the album charts. Yes, it's true…this is the album where L. Ron Hubbard sings!
- Or if you're in the market for a truly unique item, you might want to buy a copy of L. Ron Hubbard: The Congress Lectures. Apparently Hubbard gave a series of lectures at a place called "The Hall Of Nations" in Washington DC. This is, of course, nowhere near the United Nations in New York City…but hey, it sure sounds important! These lectures, I suspect, may have been the basis for the classic Hubbard book All About Radiation, which is one of the three or four loopiest things he ever wrote. By calling this "The Congress Lectures," Scientology evidently intends to make you think that LRH intended these speeches to be to the United States Government. What's more, you can purchase this once-in-a-lifetime package from Bridge Publications, Scientology's official publishing house, for only $2,000!
Also of note:
- The vindictive, hateful nature of Scientology is best revealed by looking at the many policies invented by Hubbard for attacking his enemies. The methods used by Scientology ("Fair Game," "Expose hidden crimes" ) are legendary, and they are amply revealed at many different sites on the Web. In response to these criticisms, a so-called "balanced" look at Scientology's critics has been created, entitled Religious Freedom Watch. This site, which claims to be "indepedent" (so that Scientology spokes-goons can officially deny it), uses all the dirty tricks at its disposal to portray its targets as "hatemongers," "criminals," "bigots," and other friendly terms. Falling just short of libel, it makes a point of using the worst quality photos in existence, "anonymous" (or invented) hateful quotes, comparisons with Nazis (Godwin's Law alert!), and other low blows.
- And then there's the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). This was one of the first non-profit groups that worked to bring the truth about groups like Scientology to the world. So Scientology launched an all-out campaign to destroy CAN. It took ten years and it cost them about $30 million, but they succeeded. Today CAN is staffed exclusively by Scientologists.
What Scientology doesn't want you to see
- Ex-Scientology Kids: You couldn't find a better site to see the true face of people who have been hurt by Scientology. Here, former members of the organization gather to tell their stories and offer support to one another (and to all newcomers). What's more, the founders of this site have (or had) connections to the highest echelons of Scientology: Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of David Miscavige, current leader of Scientology; and Astra Woodcraft is a former member of the Sea Org, Scientology's elite "military" organization.
- The Church of Scientology vs. the Net: My friend Ron Newman founded this site in 1995, one of the very first Web sites about Scientology. It is no longer updated, but he makes at available as an archive of the early days of the Scientology Internet wars.
- Operation Clambake: The number-one place to go on the Internet to learn the truth about Scientology!
- Dr. David Touretzky of Carnegie-Mellon University has taken on the dask of exposing Scientology's methods and abuses of public education and health care. He runs such useful, information-heavy sites as Stop Narconon and Study Tech.
- NarCONon _IS_ Scientology, the web site that Scientology allegedly claimed over the telephone was run by "a drug manufacturer" when in fact it was created and is run by Fredric L. Rice, a human rights activist. History of crimes  and Bare-Faced Messiah are also good.
- Xenu entry at Wikipedia: The regular contributors to Wikipedia have put together an exhaustively researched history of the most forbidden term in Scientology: Xenu, the Galactic overlord! This is the secret of Scientology that the organization does not want people to read. (You may also want to look at the RealPlayer cartoon Xenu After School Special - it's a real howler!)
- Also…When the Internet war was at its most heated, I took part in activism to expose the the truth about Scientology to the world. If you're not too bored, here's my account of the Boston Scientology Protest of September 7, 1996.
- See also: An Introduction to Scientology