Monday, May 3, 2010

Speaking Of Grampa...

That story reminded me of another one from when I visited them in 2000.  My grampa took me to church one Sunday when I was over, and he parked in front of this older looking building, that looked a little like a storefront with no windows.  We got out and he gestured to the door on the building and said, "Okay Mary, that's where we're going."  

I read the door: "Church of Scientology, Mission of Buenaventura"

I turned right around and started to get back in the car while exclaiming, "GRAMPA!!! We can't go in there!!"

He started to laugh and pointed across the street to the big Lutheran church and said, "Nah, I'm just kidding. We're going there."   

You know, he had a sick sense of humor.


timpani76 said...

You know, until a few years ago I did not realize that Scientologists were NOT Christians. I think I was confusing them with Christian Scientists. You weren't even curious?

lizS said...

you know, methinks your grandpa and i would have gotten along rather well. the kind of well that leaves whole cities in ruins in our i'm also thinking it's good we never met. ;)

Dana Cheryl said...

Of all the people I know from around the world I don't have even one Scientologist friend. My friends include Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, wiccans, but no Scientologists or Sikhs. I need to go recruit some new friends. lol!!

Of all the world religions I find Sikhs the most interesting. Of course I'm devoted to Christianity as a believer but Sikhism is fascinating. It's a combination of Hindu, Christianity, Judaism, & Islam.

I've spent hours studying Scientology from an anthropological standpoint. Belief systems are fascinating. I feel a real desire to understand what other people deeply believe. What makes Scientology so compelling? Christianity has everything... The beginning and the end, the Savior, the Truth... What need does the Scientology belief system fill for the 8 million who practice it?

I truly cannot understant the appeal. However, I have a lot of respect for some practioners of Scientology like Greta Van Susteren.

Mary said...

Timpani, Christian Scientists are not Christians either. Their teachings have nothing to do with Christianity. (I know, my Grandma was raised in that religion.) Christian Scientists believe that everything that is and happens is an idea including God and Satan and illness and success. It's all a matter of your mindset. (My great-grandma used to tell my grandma that she was not really ever sick, she was only sick because she believed she was, and that if she believed she was healthy, she'd get better, that kind of thing.)

Liz, I'm not exactly sure how you mean that...

DC, it's been a long time since I studied up on different world religions, but let me tell you right now that Scientology scares the snot out of me. When you see the way its' followers behave, you can see that it's a cult. I will give them a wide-berth forever.

Dana Cheryl said...

Cults only have the power we give them so I don't worry too much about 'em. (The occult is a bit creepier but it's the same principle.)Folks will believe what they want to believe. Although an encounter with Jesus Christ can radically change an individual. Every person I know has had opportunities to turn to the truth of the atonement. Not everyone has excepted it but I have hope that they will in time. :)

I'm on the other end of the spectrum... Bring on the Scientologists!! I would love to have a conversation with a practioner. I have so many questions including... Why do you believe space beings would infect our populice with evil energy?/What's in it for those that released the evil?/Who made the advanced alien race?

Their website tells us what they believe but not why they believe it. For instance, I am a Christian because I had an intense spiritual experience when I prayed as an 8 year old little girl. During that experience I felt a radiating warm & feeling of peace as something (which I later understood to be the Holy Spirit) told me that God was my Father, that Jesus Christ was His son & my Savior. That feeling continued as I was told that they loved me deeply and that if I would put God first in all things & believe then one day I'd return home. I remember crying myself to sleep feeling perfect peace and joy. I hadn't expected that experience when I went to bed that night but God spoke to me as I thanked Him for mommy, daddy, granny, pappaw, the dog, the cat, the angels in heaven, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea etc... etc...

That is my why. I want to know theirs. By learning what need this believe system fills for the individual I learn many things including how to best present the Gospel of Jesus Christ when prompted to do so. True cultists will not engage in real relationships outside their paradigm. They only move outside of their community in order to collect new adherents. After a short period of time with no success they will move on and sever ties with the individuals not interested in joining.

That's not to say they don't have an agenda. They most certaintly do. As will all belief systems held sacred to individuals there is a desire to further there cause. I read a document written by Greta Van Susteren's husband which he claims as his own. There is definitely some moving and shaking going on in Washington with heavy recruitment efforts among top brass. They are seeking people who can do the most to further their cause of mainstreaming Scientology. The Palin family has been befriend by some powerful scientologists. The anthropologist test will be to see if these people remain friends with the Palins even if they do not become adherents. Only time will tell... :)