Date: Mar 1st, 2012 2:27:06 pm - Subscribe
There's no getting away from Scientology these days, is there? Last month over at businessinsider.com Eric Goldschein gave us "A Peek Inside The Vast Global Real Estate Portfolio Of The Church Of Scientology" (which is small potatoes compared to the Holy See's humongous holdings, but still nothing to sneeze at.) Then Tony Ortega of villagevoice.com, who regularly blogs about Hubbardism, gave us a peek inside the proposed "Flag Mecca," also known as the "Super Power Building." Like all Orgs it includes an empty office set aside for the Commodore's return. Seriously. On top of that, the most recent issue of Skeptic magazine promises "New Revelations on the History, Future, and Reformation of Scientology" while the Humanist Network News has a story by Troy Conrad, "On Scientology (As Told By an Ex-Scientologist)." Gripping reading all around.
It's an unpleasant fact that Scientology was unleashed on the world in the pages of Astounding Science Fiction (May 1950). Hubbard did give back to the sf community by founding the Writers of the Future contest, but that isn't enough to save his reputation in most fans eyes. It's a dilemma like the one at the center of George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara (1905).
I find it interesting to contrast the rise of Scientology with the development of Cognitive Science. 1950 saw the publication of two books comparing the human mind to a computer. One was Hubbard's Dianetics while the other was Norbert Wiener's The Human Use of Human Beings. Within twenty years the former would lead to the formation of a stifling religious corporation that was mired in legal battles, while the latter led to the founding of the Cognitive Science Society and the publication of the peer reviewed journal Cognitive Science. It just shows how bogus the church's exploitation of the word "science" is when you see it compared to an actual scientific discipline. Now if we could only get all of those misguided Scientologists to pursue careers in Cognative Science instead I think everybody would be better off.
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