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July 4 2007

More fun with Scientology

Back in April I discussed the The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project program being run by The Church Of Scientology. In that post I quoted a letter written by a Steven Mona that was printed in The New York Post defending the program. My only comment about Mr. Mona’s letter was:

I hope it is helping, I really do, but the Church of Scientology is not who I would turn to for help. They are a cult, nothing more, and their methodologies have been called into question numerous times.

Well, Mr. Mona found my blog entry and saw fit to leave a comment on that post:

Steve Mona said,

on July 4th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

Since you saw fit to repost my letter to the NY Post I thought I’d add a few comments. I still know nothing about Scientology almost a year after I started and finished the detox program. I’m just wondering though. If Long Island Jewish Hospital was curing 9-11 Rescue Workers would you be worried they might be handing out the talmud? If St. Vincent’s Hospital was curing rescue workers would you be worried they might be giving us new testaments? As a member of a religion that is often misunderstood and maligned (I’m Wiccan) I can tell you one thing for sure, religious bigotry is religious bigotry. Disliking the religion you are maligning doesn’t give you carte blanc to saw what you want. You’re a bigot, simple as that.

I would like it to be noted I never attacked Mr. Mona, and I have no intention of attacking him, and he does raise some valid points.

First off, let’s address the program. On an entry from two days later, I talked about the program again. It specifically discussed this picture from the Detox Program website and how the program caused colored sweat and glass to come out of relief workers pores. My friend, Nikki, who works as a trace evidence collector in a CSI unit, left this comment bringing up all sorts of scientific questions (please excuse Nikki’s language… she got a bit… passionate about this, and all science for that matter):

First off… where are my independent studies!? All of this is only done by scientologists. And without verification by peers, this is not any sort of reliable science. (Fuckers! Scientology implies SCIENCE. I hate them, you know.)

Secondly, I actually beleive that whatever the hell they are giving these people to ingest as “vitamins” contains some sort of water soluable artificial dye. Eccrine (it’s a kind of sweat gland) chromhidrosis is a real medical issue and although rare, it occurs because of ingestion of dyes or drugs, or even occupational exposure to copper. So, colored sweat isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. (Niether are bowel movements that are blue or green for that matter – ever drink kool-aid or eat cotton candy or a lot of asparagus?)

Combined with the niacin they’re taking, which is actually a liver toxin in high doses, and the fact that they are MAKING them sweat through exercise and the 5 hour saunas… duh. I imagine you can force colored sweat with the right cocktail.

Niacin also causes skin burns which are used to con their victims into believing that the reddening of their skin is radiation, drugs, and toxins being purged from their system.

Toxins. Toxins being purged. Oh, you mean like, niacin?? That toxin? The one that youâ’re giving them? Right-o.

As for the glass shards, I’m sure that’s more bullshit. Ever sweat so much and become dehydrated enough that you form salt crystals on your skin? That’s my best idea so far… No one’s said how large these glass shards are. Although, I would expect that first responders whould have sweat some in their lifetime and put two and two together on that one.

It’s all bullshit. How can people be so blind? I mean, I know that they’re hoping for a cure to their ailments, but this is just ridiculous. They could seriously be hurting many of our country’s heroes!

Well, Mr. Mona, any answers to this? Have you researched Scientology and their history of abuse? I highly recommend Operation Clambake as a good starting point. Have you found any scientific studies backing up the programs claims?

Your examples of comparing Long Island Jewish Hospital and St. Vincent’s to the Detox program is like comparing apples and oranges. The two you mentioned use proven science, and not some questionable methods without any hard science backing it up. Yes, I am fully aware of holistic healing, but most of those are ancient teachings, not something that involves sweating for five hours.

Would I have a problem with them handing out their corresponding religious teachings? No. Why? Because they aren’t a made up “religion”, created by a hack science fiction writer. They are not religions that lock people in hotel rooms and starve them to death. They are not religions that charge tens of thousands of dollars so you can reach a new level. They are not religions that say in their introduction videos that not following their religions is akin to going home and shooting yourself in the head.

Scientology is a cult. End of story. They are only a “church” in the sense they filed the proper paperwork with the government to achieve tax exempt status.

I would also point you back to the original post. I clearly said that Scientology may not be being preached, I also specifically said to you that I hoped it was helping you. However, considering the sordid past of Scientology, any activity they take up is immediately suspect to me, and the claims of this program definitely reek of BS.

If an organization has a history of questionable deeds, wouldn’t you also question any new activities they undertake? This has NOTHING to do with religious bigotry, this has to do with a group who, since its inception, has used questionable tactics in every aspect of its operation. If they were a coalition of Oompa-Loompas, I would still speak out against them. This has nothing to do with being a “religious bigot”, it has to do with I don’t appreciate a group using the brave men and women who responded on 9/11 as a PR tool to improve their standing in society.

Again, Mr. Mona, if you feel better, great, but I wished you, personally, nothing but the best. Coming to my blog and calling me a “religious bigot” though is not appreciated. You have your opinions, I have mine. I’ve done my research over several years, and the entry covered both bases. I stand by the entry, and will continue to do so.

And one last note, something you said I want to address directly:

Disliking the religion you are maligning doesn’t give you carte blanc to saw what you want.

Um… *looks up at the URL… and the header on the page* That… seems to be my name up there… at least last time I checked it was my name. So, yes, I can say what I want here as long as falls inside the lines of the law.



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  • IMO, the difference between a “religion” and a “cult” lies in dates and acculturation–that is, the religion adopting to the local culture (like Christianity did with paganism) and people in the culture becoming used to the new cult. Mormonism is a good example of a cult in the later stages of just such a transition. Cults that fail to make this transition die out. All religions start as cults. Almost all religions have at one point or another included all kinds of weird crap, much of it destructive–including Christianity today. Look at abstinence programs, as one example, or resistance against contraceptive solutions. The established religions are simply a lot more practiced, a lot slicker with these mumbo-jumbo rebrandings of theology as medicine or science, and they have the established force of influence to make their harmful “remedies” more accepted.