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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Sunday October 15, 2006
12:09 PM

Scientologists: just as boring as everyone else

[ #31324 ]

The film maker Brett Hanover is no fan of Scientology. Working in close consultation with many ex-Scientologists and the folks over at Operation Clambake, he managed to put together an hour long film covering a young lady who had just achieved "Clear" status in Scientology. The movie is very slow and the story is dull, but according to this review and others like it I've read, the story does a good job of portraying what life is actually like for many Scientologists.

The author wanted people to watch this movie, so he released it free to the Web. So why didn't I link to it? Well, it's not on Google Video any more. Brett Hanover has apparently changed his mind. He's asking blog authors to remove entries about the movie (google cache is here). I hear he's also tried to get the movie pulled from Bit Torrent (I don't use BT, so I don't know if that's possible). If you go to his Web site, his "Films" link is also broken now. Seems that once the movie was released, the Scientologists weren't too happy about it. You can put two and two together on this one and I'm sure you'll reach the right answer. In the meantime, seems that still hosts the movie. Of course, you'll find the film deathly dull, but I think that was part of the point.

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  • They will come after you next!

  • Including one (probably short-lived) link that appears to be a now-deleted blog entry, and then this [].

    (From [])

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Whoa. I actually knew about the investigators, but I didn't say anything because I wasn't aware it was public knowledge and I was afraid a friend of mine would get in trouble for sharing that. The story I heard is that basically they were having PIs follow him and his parents and the constant harrassment scared the heck out of them. From that blog entry, though, it sounds like a bit more may have happened. Of course, this is all conjecture and rumor, so let that disclaimer be out there.

      And not just co

      • That's organized religion

        Not necessarily. Those are hallmarks of a "cult" but not necessarily a religion.

        • How do you define 'cult' and 'religion'? Someone (Heinlein, I think?) differentiated a cult as a religion where the majority of members have joined it and a religion as being something where the majority of people are born into it. By this criteria, perhaps Scientology only has to wait?

          • Several years back there was some kind of study about religion and those personality tests you see all the time (no, not the Scientology personality test :) ). For the record, I think much of those "personality tests" may be hooey, so take this with a grain of salt: :)

            Anyway, they tested folks twice, asking them to describe themselves as they were now the first time, then asking them to describe themselves as they WANTED to be, in the future.

            Now in any given group of people you usually have a wide dist

            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
            • That jibes with the criterion I heard and use: that in general, cults revolve around the person and personality of the founder himself.

              Scientologists worship Hubbard.

              Admittedly, this isn’t very well defined; trying to apply it to the major religions gets mired in a swamp of murky questions. F.ex., there’s little biblical evidence for Trinity, upon which depends whether Christianity is a cult by the letter of this criterion or not. Islam and (to some extent) Buddhism suffer similar confusions

              • The "word" Trinity is never used in the Bible. There is ample evidence "of" a trinity in the Bible.

                • I was not picking on words. There is ample evidence of Father and Son being separate entities.

                    • You should read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". He has a very funny section on the linguistic knots that christians get themselves tied up in when trying to prove that they can believe in the trinity and still claim their religion is monotheistic :-)

                      Polytheism to monotheism to atheism. You know it makes sense.
                    • Dawkins was on Colbert tonight. Yawn. He hasn't a single good argument. His arguments are basically of the form "we can't fit God into our human logic so therefore God doesn't exist" (though he concedes he cannot disprove God, of course, but he goes right up to that precipice and looks over it) and Douglas Adams skewered that philosophy pretty well in the opening to HHGTTG (though, himself an atheist, I am not sure if he realizes it, or if he thought he was actually making a good point against God's exis
                    • I haven't seen the Colbert interview yet, but I've been keeping up with most of Dawkins' recent press appearances via his web site [].

                      But you're an intelligent man Pudge and I'm sure that you'll realise that it's impossible to summarise a serious and intellectual book in a few minutes on an entertainment programme. For more serious discussion of Dawkins' views try the NY Academy of Science podcast []. There's also a selection of readings [] from the book that was recorded at Cambridge University. Or, of course, yo

                    • If I recall correctly, it was via Asimov's research that I found out that early Jews, prior to the Babylonian captivity, were regarded as henotheists (belief in many gods with only one being worth of worship). After the captivity, they had settled on a religious structure very similar to the Babylonian dualist Mazda/Aingru-mainu belief structure (I could be misspelling that). Thus, there's at least an appearance of the Hewbrew people deciding to incorporate large portions of the Zoroastrian faith into the

                    • Of course, Dawkins admits that it's impossible to categorically disprove the existance of god, but but that doesn't mean that god must exist.

                      I never implied that, of course.

                      What Dawkins does do is to a) demonstrate that god is unnecessary to explain anything that we currently see in the universe

                      Well, anything that is currently possible to explain. He can't, of course, explain the origin of the universe without God, or even scientifically theorize it, without succumbing to logical fallacy (everything we kno
          • The best definition I've ever heard uses the phrase "mind control". If you've ever seen real mind control in action, you'll never mistake it for anything else.

            • Given that someone close to me was in a cult for a number of years then I would be inclined to agree with this assessment. It was a Baptist cult, of all things, but definitely nothing like the Christianity most people are exposed to. It was horrifying.

          • No-one is born into a religion. It's something learned. And cults, sects and "respectable" religions are indistinguishable from the outside, from whence they all look crazy.
            • And cults, sects and "respectable" religions are indistinguishable from the outside, from whence they all look crazy.

              Sorry, I just don't subscribe to that. Unless you have a very low tolerance for crazy or define it in some other way.

            • I don't see it. There are plenty of decent religions out there (I just don't subscribe to them). Cults, on the other hand, tend to scare the hell out of me.

          • FWIW, there are actually two completely different definitions of "cult." One is a technical term that defines a relationship between two religions, and basically means a sect that is a child of a parent religion, but is seen by the parent as being incompatible. Examples: Christianity is a cult of Judaism; Vaishnavism (some say) is a cult of Hinduism; Mormonism is a cult of Christianity.

            Then there's the more subjective definition, which is unrelated, and implies that devotees are in some way "brainwashed,"
      • I'm with you on that last paragraph, until the "organized" part. :) (Don't blame me, my religion's libertarian. ;) )

        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Organized religion? It's more like a pyramid scheme masquerading as a religion.

        If I had the time, money and energy I think I would make a video with a group of Amway zealots getting into a fight with a group of Scientoligists. And you wouldn't be able to tell who was who.