It’s been a while since I posted a quote of the week. However, sitting there this morning, reading the Sydney Morning Herald while enjoying my wife’s wonderful poached eggs, I did laugh when I read this one. (By the way, I wasn’t eating my wife’s breakfast. I was eating the eggs she so kindly made for me. She was enjoying her own breakfast. Aaaaanyway.)

Here in Australia, Senator Nick Xenophon is calling for an inquiry into the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology. He claims that it’s not a religious organisation but a criminal one. (At the very least it’s a very dangerous cult.) You can read plenty about the whole Xenophon thing in various places online.

In support of Xenophon’s campaign, Gerry Armstrong, a leading critic of Scientology, is coming to Australia. Armstrong is a guy that was a Scientologist and decided to write a biography of L Ron Hubbarb (the Founder of Scientology) to put to bed all the lies and misrepresentations about the science ficiton writer that once claimed the true path to wealth was through starting a religion.

Not surprisingly, when Armstrong began investigating all these “lies” to refute them, he found the opposite to be true. Armstrong says:

”There was all this material about him that had been discovered and I thought getting a biography published would be a a way of taking care of all the black propaganda, rumours and lies that had been published about him.

”Of course I discovered that the lies that I was trying to debunk were actually the truth and that Hubbard had lied to me and to all of us Scientologists and to the whole world.

”His whole history was a lie. His education, his military record, the antecedence of Scientology, his inveiglement in the occult prior to his creation of Scientology, his family, his daughter, his wife, his expeditions.

”He claimed to be a nuclear physicist – that had a lot of significance to me. The truth was that he flunked the one course in molecular phenomena. He never made it out of second year university. He was not a physicist, he was not a civil engineer, he was not a doctor, and he claimed to be all these things.”

He tried to have the church correct its records and the church in turn sued him. They lost the case with the judge deciding:

”The organisation clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements.

”The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.”

And then we come to the bit that really made me chuckle. In defence of all this Armstrong business, the church brushes it off claiming that Armstrong is a “disgruntled apostate.”

You think? It’s not like he was disgruntled and made up lies. He discovered all the lies and became disgruntled. There’s a fairly significant difference there.

Anyway, I’d like to see the Church of Scientology investigated for its tax-exempt status, but I won’t hold my breath. It would pave the way for all the other cults (like Islam, Catholicism and so on) to be investigated for their tax-exempt status.

While we’re on the subject. Well, I am anyway, I’d be surprised if anyone else is still reading. I have a plan for a better, fairer relationship with religions. Instead of automatically giving them tax exempt status, which is grossly unfair and anachronistic, have them pay tax and fill in a tax return like every other person and business. Then they can claim all their charitable acts back, same as any other person or business. It’s bollocks to consider their very existence and everything they do as charitable.

Just some food for thought.

For a good round up on what Scientology is all about and how it operates, here’s a fairly short yet detailed article, also from the Sydney Morning Herald today.