Talk:Scientology

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January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept
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Science fiction author[edit]

I've raised this issue a few times before and I'll say it again, it is not NPOV to describe Hubbard as a science fiction author in the lead, rather than simply as a writer or just saying "Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard". There is no way anyone could credibly get away with this type of bias with Objectivism (Ayn Rand), for example. Major articles on various denominations don't bother to describe Jesus as a carpenter, or with Islam, referring to Muhammad as a merchant who decided to create a religion, or that Nation of Islam is a pseudo-Islamic group started by someone who -- by their own admission -- was not black and had a criminal record. Go to the NOI article and see if you can insert a sentence stating the founders prior career and keep it there. Wouldn't last more than a few hours. People have tried to describe the NOI as "pseudo-Islamic" or as a black separatist or African-American movement in the lead, and each time its been reversed because Wikipedia goes with how the organization describes itself in the lead.

Nowhere does the Church of Scientology itself go around stating it was founded by "science fiction author L Ron Hubbard". They go to the other extreme in insisting he was a humanitarian, philanthropist, etc. Aside from his pulp fiction career, Hubbard's other major career was that of a Naval intelligence officier. That is totally absent from the sentence mentioning his being a science fiction author.

The fact that many here stubbornly insist on this science fiction thing in the lead is evidence of the massive level of bias here. Our goal here is about facts presented as impartially as possible, not cherry picked editorializing. Calling the guy a sci fi author in the lead is pure cherry picking and weasel wording.

I don't even bother making any attempts to edit this article since its futile to attempt to do so, and as an example, when you've got editors here insisting on using US spelling for "center" instead of the Church's own usage "Celebrity Centre" (no Scientology source uses the US spelling for center), that more than reveals the stubborn bias at play here. After that absurdity over the official spelling of "Celebrity Centre" (which is correct, not "Celebrity Center") I said the hell with it, the only exceptions being articles on Scientologists who hire publicists to run spin control here and keeping that sort of thing in check. But I will continue to raise this issue again and again. Maybe one of these days we'll end up with a decent enough article that is mostly impartial. As it stands, the POV here is pure facepalm fodder. Laval (talk) 01:32, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Hubbard's main claim to fame outside of Scientology is as a pulp-fiction writer, and his contributions to that field are substantial enough that he would have an article even without Scientology or Dianetics. He was an extremely prolific writer of pulp fiction, which was significant to the origins of Dianetics (as with Excalibur) and he continued (or resumed) writing years after founding Scientology with Battlefield Earth (novel) and the Mission Earth series. The CoS continues this connection by publishing the Writers of the Future anthologies and similar through Galaxy Press. Neither Jesus' carpentry or Muhammad's trading are close to that level of proportional significance. I do not think that most reliable independent source would regard the military career of L. Ron Hubbard as being major, at least not with controversy and qualifications which do not belong in the lede. Grayfell (talk) 03:47, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
Agree. Wonder why Laval raised the issue yet again. But, I can't see why Laval's not right in that it should be "Celebrity Centre". (It mostly is already.) --Elvey(tc) 00:36, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Scientology#Church of Scientology[edit]

Nonchalant77 recently added this paragraph, which I temporarily removed because it is contradicted by the following paragraphs that had been in the article already and were also sourced. I haven't looked at any of the sources yet, but the section didn't make sense anymore, so I took this out for now so we can discuss if/how to best fit it in.

L. Ron Hubbard originally intended for Scientology to be considered a science, as stated in his writings. In 1952, Scientology was organized to put this intended science into practice, and it was incorporated as a church in 1955. The group declared that the Founding Church, as written in the certificate of incorporation for the Founding Church of Scientology in the District of Columbia, was to “act as a parent church for the religious faith down as ‘Scientology’ and to act as a church for the religious worship of the faith.”

-Zald, Mayer N.; McCarthy, John David (1987). Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9780887388026. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 

Here's a link to the section when it includes this paragraph. Thoughts? PermStrump(talk) 23:32, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi Permstrump. Thank you for your diligence. However, you have not provided a reasonable explanation for saying that the new paragraph contradicts the rest of the section. I cannot see that, I can only see that it actually contextualizes and supports it. I have returned the edit based on this. Thank you.Nonchalant77 (talk) 23:41, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi Nonchalant. It contradicts the next couple of paragraphs because they give different dates for all of the things you mentioned. PermStrump(talk) 23:47, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. I can see that now. I've modified the edit and broke it into two parts to fit the existing text to avoid contradiction. Have a look.Nonchalant77 (talk) 00:01, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 May 2016[edit]

"and" should be added to this sentence, after "operations," - it is found under the definition of "Office of Special Affairs": It has targeted critics of the Church for "dead agent" operations, mounted character assassination operations against perceived enemies. Thank you, Lydia Liddy8008 (talk) 19:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, I changed to "which is" because dead agent is the mounting of character assassinations. Sir Joseph (talk) 19:37, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
@Sir Joseph: You may be listening to the wrong sources. Here is an original definition of "dead agent" (source):
      The technique of proving utterances false is called "DEAD AGENTING".
      It's in the first book of Chinese espionage.  When the enemy agent gives
      false data, those who believed him but now find it false kill him - or
      at least cease to believe him.

      So the PR slang for it is "Dead Agenting."

      This consists of disproving utterly the false statement with documents
      or demonstration or display.

      One has to have a kit (a collection of documents) or the ability to
      demonstrate or something to display.

      STATEMENT: "I've been told you are in trouble with Income Tax people."

      REBUTTAL: "Here's a document of fully paid taxes and a letter of
      commendation from the tax authorities."  Displays same.

      Result?  Whoever told him that is now dead with him as an accurate
      informer.

This is paralleled in US law as "witness impeachment" and used frequently in courtrooms across America -- it is considered a wholly legitimate debate tactic. In fact, witness impeachment under the Federal Rules goes much further and includes showing that the witness had serious credibility issues at some time in his life on any subject. See Federal Rules of Evidence 608. Grammar's Li'l Helper Talk 21:36, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

The love for Scientology - Aims of Scientology and more[edit]

It seems that the article ignores important ethical aspects of Scientology such as The Aims of Scientology that says:
A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.

By reference http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/the-scientology-creeds-and-codes/the-aims-of-scientology.html.

This is also true for The Way to Happiness where Scientology encourages the ethical behaviour from all people on planet Earth, even its own leaders, held to the same standard as always. This by reference http://www.scientology.org/how-we-help/way-to-happiness.html.
Another point is Scientology's Code of Honour that seems to me to also reflect ethical views. By reference http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/the-scientology-creeds-and-codes/the-code-of-honor.html.
All in all, the article as it is written, seems harsh to Scientology, digging into communication that by some interpretation can come across as dubious, probably to the well-knowing of the editors. I hope for improvement for what Scientology is explicitly stating, THE ETHICAL! Thanks. 88.95.155.16 (talk) 15:34, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia's goal is to provide a neutral overview of the topic. One way we do that is by favoring outside sources. Relying extensively on the church's own writings would not be neutral, because the goal of Scientology.org, which is owned by the church, is to promote their religion. That is not compatible with Wikipedia's goals. It is also worth mentioning that there is already an article specifically about ethics in Scientology: Ethics (Scientology). This article here is about the religion of Scientology in general, and it also should not be confused with the article about the church: Church of Scientology. Grayfell (talk) 20:54, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Grayfell! 88.95.155.16 (talk) 23:41, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Beside the Aims, any discussion of ethics should touch on Scientology Representative Zabrina Collins, an ETHICS OFFICER and Director of Special Affairs recently found GUILTY after she attacked an ex-Scientologist, which she admitted doing, and justified it by claiming he was 'an avid hate campaigner'. She was sued for accusations she made in horrific emails to the principal accusing a teacher of criminal activity, hate mongering and having links to porn movies featuring teenage boys. None of the accusations were found to be accurate. --21:13, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Ip if you have a RS we can consider, that would be great, otherwise we can't add in original research. Cheers mate.--Adam in MO Talk 16:56, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
You're not my mate, Adam in MO. I wish someone would put a stop to Adamfinmo's hounding of me. See https://www.google.com/search?q=Zabrina+Collins%2C+an+ETHICS+OFFICER+hate , e.g. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/scientologist-ordered-to-pay-5000-damages-for-vitriolic-personal-attack-34659037.html , http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/26/judge-scientologist-to-pay-for-nude-pic-attack-on-critic.html, http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/scientologist-must-pay-damages-for-vitriolic-personal-attack-1.2624158 ... --Elvey(tc) 17:28, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps it would do you well to read through the policies on assuming good faith. I was simply responding to an unsigned comment to a talk page that was on my watch list. Back off with the personal attack friend.--Adam in MO Talk 17:35, 18 June 2016 (UTC)r
And "Cheers mate" seems to be to be a rather unobjectionable phrase, along the lines of "Have a good day". I get the impression that Adam is trying to indicate he has nothing against the IP or Elvey as an individual or as individuals, and is trying to make that clear. Regarding the "ethical lapses" of Zabrina Collins, which, honestly, strike me as being pretty damn big "ethical lapses," I think it might be possible to argue that, maybe, with the article at http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/daughter-of-publican-framed-by-gardai-is-a-leading-scientologist-26873412.html in addition to the coverage of her involvement in the recent trial, an argument could be made for her notability. I see at least a few books in the Google search which at least mention her name, so it might well be that there is enough material for a reasonable article on her, if anyone wanted to try to put it together. The Ethics (Scientology) article could really use a lot of improvement, admittedly, and I actually didn't even know we had one until just now, but I am less sure that coverage of one individual's misconduct deserves mention in it, although mention of there existing "Ethics Officers" of some sort within Scientology, which I don't see there yet. John Carter (talk) 17:55, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
AGF is not a suicide pact. I've repeatedly asked this user to leave me alone and stop following me. I too "get the impression that Adam is trying to indicate he has nothing against the IP or Elvey as an individual or as individuals, and is trying to make that clear". I don't believe it or the fake friendliness though; the user's many edits targeting me are more indicative of a vendetta. Adam is monitoring my edits and following me around and admits to doing it but claims it's justified. Adam's first comment (ever?) on this page wasn't justified by any WP:HOUNDING#NOT exception that I'm aware of, and is hardly an isolated case. I wish someone would put a stop to Adamfinmo's hounding of me. If he was actually the mate or friend he claims to be, he would have long since respected my request that he stop following me around. --Elvey(tc) 22:29, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As for discussion of the ethical aspects of Scientology: I'm not a regular editor regarding Scientology and don't intend to become one. I was trying to bring balance to .88's proposal to promote Scientology's supposed ethics in this article by adding a dose of reality. --Elvey(tc) 22:41, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

You seem to be making a claim that this individual has been stalking you for some time. It is allowed by policies and guidelines for one individual to watch the activities of another if the watcher believes the individual being watched regularly engages in problematic behavior. Even if the individual making the request asks that it be stopped.
Let me be blunt. You seem to be using this article talk page in a matter which some might consider disruptive as per WP:DE and possibly as a form of personal attack as per WP:NPA, which, as you can probably see from the template at the top of this talk page, is itself potentially, if anyone so requested, grounds for imposition of sanctions as per the prior Arbitration ruling regarding this topic. You also show little if any understanding of basic policies and guidelines in doing so. The correct way to request sanctions from an administrator is, surprise, going to one of the administrator noticeboards and requesting it there, in the appropriate place. The fact that you have chosen to act in the way that you have on this article talk page is itself I think a not unreasonable cause for thinking that you may act in disregard of policies and guidelines perhaps at least frequently, which, under the circumstances, could be itself seen as being a basis for monitoring your edits for other possible violations of policies and guidelines. If you wish to do something which might be productive, which this thread, unlike this thread, you would be better advised to go to one of the appropriate noticeboards, probably either WP:AN or WP:ANI. However, I believe that if you were to do so, you would find that the admins and others there would probably review the behavior of all those involved, including yourself. It is not unknown for people who make requests at one of those noticeboards to sometimes find their own behavior is even more problematic than that of the person about whom they are complaining.
I also think it reasonable to point out that I, or any other editor, might file a request at WP:AE if this article talk page continues to be used to discuss personal matters which are at best marginally related to the article in question. John Carter (talk) 22:43, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I will not be participating in any further discussion what so ever on this talk page.--Adam in MO Talk 23:13, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

First paragraph of this article not informative of what the religion actually is or does[edit]

As a Scientologist myself(who is not under the employ of the church), I find the first paragraph of this article uninformative of what the religion actually is or does.

For example in this introductory paragraph it is mentioned:

  • LRH is an American author
  • ...the Dianetics Foundation entered bankruptcy
  • Hubbard lost the rights to his seminal publication Dianetics
  • He then recharacterized the subject as a religion and renamed it Scientology
  • ...he regained the rights to Dianetics and retained both subjects under the umbrella of the Church of Scientology

Wikipedia's goal is to provide a neutral overview of the topic. This paragraph does not sound natural, instead it sounds negatively biased and it is clear that the author of this paragraph is not very friendly towards Scientology. I am not looking for friendly, simply the same treatment as the Christianity page. To me this paragraph does not describe what the point of Scientology is, or what it is, or what the actual definition of the word Scientology is. This would still be neutral, nonbias and educational. I care to better define what Scientology actually is first and then go into who the creator is, bankruptcy, legal rights, etc. These items above do not define what Scientology is for me as a parishioner myself.

I hereby request that the article takes some lead from the official Scientology website and add some more info of what the religion actually is, the definition of Scientology, and then go into the rest of the info. Now I completely agree that we cannot use this site as we need to use neutral sites, but at least define it correctly. See here what the site says:

WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY? Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.

Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.

Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:

Man is an immortal spiritual being.

His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.

His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.

Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results.

The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for all.

Source: http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by CreativelySpecialised (talkcontribs) 09:16, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

That's a primary source. Do you have a WP:SECONDARY source for this? --A D Monroe III (talk) 15:00, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9370678/What-is-Scientology.html CreativelySpecialised (talk) 13:34, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
I propose this intro article as taken exactly from the secondary and reputable source:
According to their official literature: "Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being." It claims to have roots in the beliefs of “all great religions” and thus encompasses “a religious heritage as old and as varied as Man himself” and could be considered 50,000 years old.
It was founded by a man named L. Ron Hubbard, from New Jersey, US, who wrote a book on “dianetics” in 1950. Four fans, described as an attorney, a publisher, a doctor and an engineer, then formed a Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation.
The first Church of Scientology was established in February 1954, with more than a dozen new churches springing up over the next decade. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CreativelySpecialised (talkcontribs) 09:28, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
WP articles on religions don't emphasize their beliefs in the lede. This is because most readers won't be a part of the religion covered, but are only involved in its outward social, political, and economic effects. When beliefs are noted, they are more to distinguish that religion from other ones that are very similar. Also, per WP:LEAD, the point of the first few paragraphs is to summarize the rest of the article. The intro proposed above removes a lot of that, along with all their sources. Much of this proposal may be better placed in the section #Beliefs and practices. Once there, it may be easier to add a very short summary to the lede from this, if appropriate. --A D Monroe III (talk) 13:29, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply Monroe. Though you are obfuscating. I think we are getting sidetracked here, the issue I raised is the bias nature of the intro paragraph. Licencing issues, bankruptcy, the founders occupation, etc. have little to do with defining Scientology. These issues can be raised later but are quite irrelevant when mentioned before the definition even. Please can we adres this issue only? CreativelySpecialised (talk) 14:44, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
There is no attempt at obfuscating (WP:AGF); I'm trying to explain WP's wider focus than just the single issue raised here. Religions are known for their outward effects as seen by the general population, not on just what the members see -- a minority. WP is for the general population. Only dead religions are described only for their (dead) beliefs, since they have no current effects. Scientology, especially, is famous for its controversy, so that's what goes in the lede; this does define Scientology to the general public. Beliefs certainly have a place, but it can't be the only thing in the lede, per WP:UNDUE. I'm trying to help find its place, so it can be included. --A D Monroe III (talk) 14:32, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I hear you, Monroe. I am fine with keeping controversial items in the lede. What I am concerned with is to keep "mostly" controversial info in the lede and little about what Scientology actually is or does in the lede. I am a Scientologist and sending friends and family here to "find out for themselves" is quite a fruitless exercise as they come back with more questions than answers. There is little info on what Scientology actually is; I totally get it's controversial, I am not contesting that, I am contesting the fact of mostly covering the controversy. We could have both and still maintain the integrity of the WP format. How about this intro sentence to be added in the front of the intro paragraph:
Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices that according to the church offers their parishioners, "a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being." [List secondary source mentioned above]... continue from here. I suggest you write a new paragraph mentioning some of the facts I have mentioned and can be verified above, as well as the controversy you feel important. CreativelySpecialised (talk) 12:01, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
Per WP:LEAD, the first few paragraphs are to summarize the whole article. We need to have beliefs well-covered in the article body before we can state a summary of it in the lede. If we first get this info into #Beliefs and practices (for example), it will be easier to see how to have it summarized in the lede. --A D Monroe III (talk) 19:19, 14 July 2016 (UTC)