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Re: Chapter 7: The Future is Ours
I suppose if we need to blame something for the existence today of Scientology, it's the tradition common in many countries of exempting from most taxes charitable organizations. Scientology owed a billion dollars to the U.S. Govt. in 1980 and of course would not have survived it if hadn't recaptured its tax exemption. The battle centered on whether Scientology was, in fact, a charitable organization. From all the evidence Wright presents, it certainly wasn't and isn't, and the government knew this but was powerless in the end to oppose the church. Scientologists are experts on offense.
Making the picture a bit less definite, other religious institutions have amassed great wealth and been very good to select groups at the upper levels. Scientology seemed to take this to extremes, although as Wright points out, maybe extremeness is a hallmark of religions when they first start out. Somebody needs to be ruthless in order for the faith to survive. Look at Christianity early in the first millennium CE and Mormonism more recently. Perhaps Scientology still has a future, one in which it will shed some of its take-no-prisoners (well, actually it took quite a few) attitude. A kinder, gentler Scientology.
I've finished the book and found a whole lot to deplore, as any reader would I think. Still, understanding scientologists requires seeing why the religion appealed to so many, which means giving credit to a man, L. Ron Hubbard, who was a pretty terrible person but a religious innovator. Wright says his genius was taking developments in psychotherapy and spiritualizing them. Calling the whole shebang a technology also was a brilliant stroke in an era beginning to be enthralled by technology.
Last edited by DWill on Fri May 15, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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