This sermon is number 2 in a series of 14
Strongholds Shaken - Part 2
"Christian Science and Scientology"
by David Legge | Copyright © 2004 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
Christian Science and Scientology
We're turning together to the New Testament book of Paul's epistle to the Romans, chapter 1 - Romans chapter 1. Again we're only using this text, as it were, as a springboard for what we will contemplate this evening. We'll be looking at many other Bible texts throughout the study tonight, which is the second study in our series 'Strongholds of Satan', looking at the 'Christian Science' movement and what is commonly known today as 'Scientology'.
We read God's word from verse 16 of Romans chapter 1, Paul says: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness", or who suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness, "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them". In other words, human beings are without excuse, they've got a conscience and they've also got nature, verse 20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse". God's moral law is written upon human hearts, and God's creative power is evidenced around us in all of creation. Now look at verse 21 - this is the knowledge that all men had: "But because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations", that's a very important phrase, "and their foolish heart was darkened". Now mark this verse: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen".
Now the reason why this evening I have grouped together Christian Science and Scientology into one evening's study is because these two particular cult and so-called 'new-faith religions' call themselves 'mind sciences'. They come under the umbrella of those types of cults and faiths that categorise themselves as mind sciences. They are far from sciences of the mind, in fact we will see, God willing, tonight that these two particular cults are among some of the most dangerous beliefs prevalent in our world today. The second of those that we'll look at later on tonight, Scientology, is generally regarded by cult experts worldwide as probably the most harmful cult in existence, and the results of this cult are even fatal to many.
First tonight we're going to deal with Christian Science, and we're going to ask two questions of it. First of all: is it science? It seems to be such, but is it science? And the obvious question after that is to ask secondly: is it Christian? Then we're going to look at Scientology, and ask the question of it: is it science or is it science fiction? I think we'll see tonight that it is the latter, science fiction.
So without any further ado, let's begin and look at Christian Science. I want to look at the origins of this false cult. The first person you're going to see on the slide tonight is a woman called Mary Baker Eddy. Mary Baker Eddy is the founder of the Christian Science movement. She was born in New Hampshire in 1821 in the United States, and she was the daughter of a member of the Congregational church. Very early on in her life she rejected the main doctrines of orthodox Christianity and the denomination in which she grew up. Physically as a child she was troubled from time to time by bad health, she had a very delicate form - we're told from biographers that she had extremely small hands and small feet. She was frequently ill as a child and she was highly strung emotionally. We read in her biographies that she endured a great deal of illness during her childhood, including at times spasmodic seizures of a hysterical nature, and many many nervous fits.
Because of this childhood of continual illness as it were, biographers have written about her - and I can only take their word for it - that she was made highly neurotic. Because of the continual fits and being highly strung emotionally, she became highly neurotic. Then, as she grew into adulthood, her ill health continued - but the strange thing that began to evolve was that during these strange nervous emotional and physical fits, she seemed to manifest clairvoyant powers. In other words, she was able to contact the dead and spirits - at least she claimed that she could. In her adult life she dabbled in spiritualism and in the occult. It is said that when she fell into one of these trances, people would gather together and seek advice from her when she was in such a state - what should they do about this, that or the other; or perhaps even to contact the dead. Mary Baker Eddy herself claimed that during the night seasons she was able to hear mysterious tappings and rappings of spirits. She claimed, and I quote: 'to see spirits of the departed standing by her bedside, and received messages in writing from the dead'.
This is the type of spiritual entity Mary Baker Eddy was. Coming from a so-called Christian background, with grave ill health, strangely highly strung emotionally, enduring spasmodic seizures of an hysterical nature, having neurosis, being able to contact the dead, hearing spiritual noises, actually claiming to see spiritual entities standing by her bedside - but added to that, as a personality, just in a human sense, one biographer has said that she was a domineering woman, she was a quarrelsome woman, she was an extremely self-centred woman. We're told that at the age of 22 she married a man called George Glover. Seven months later George Glover died. Not only did Mary Baker Eddy have tragedy in her own childhood health, but in the early days of marriage she lost her first husband. Then she married again, a man by the name of Dr Daniel Patterson, and that marriage failed in divorce. In 1862 she herself suffered again from an illness, but this time she sought out the help of a quasi-doctor, or we could call him a witchdoctor, by the name of Phineas Quimby. Phineas Quimby was a man who believed - and it is so important that you don't miss this - he believed that the mind had power to heal the body: mind over body. From that belief and philosophy he taught a system of healing that dealt primarily with the mind - you could cure your body by your mind.
Now this man, Phineas Quimby, influenced Mary Baker Eddy a great deal, and came to influence her teachings and her later-founded religion, Christian Science. In fact, so much so, that falling ill herself on one occasion in 1866 after a serious accident when she fell, she was not expected to recover, she was expected to die. Apparently as we read the words of Matthew 9:2, where it says, I read it to you: 'And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee' - and of course, he arose and was able to walk, and had full health and strength again. From that verse Mary Baker Eddy claimed that through mind over matter she had been cured, miraculously, by some spiritual power. That cure, apparent as it was through her claim, was what really convinced her of the truth of what we know today as Christian Science - that you can heal the body's ailments through the mind.
Now from that it wasn't long until she published her first book, and most famous book, which you'll see up on the screen here entitled 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'. This is probably the most recent edition that you can buy off the bookshelves today. It was first published in 1875, and it's still going strong. The full title to that book is: 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures', with key to the Scriptures. At the age of 54 years, Mary Baker Eddy wrote this book, because she - and this is so important when we're studying cults, realise this characteristic in the founder of false cults and confusing faiths - she claimed to be the final revelation of God to humankind. Every founder of every confusing cult and false faith has claimed to be a prophet, or to be God's final revelation to humanity. She claimed to be such in this book, that's why she calls it 'the key to the Scriptures'. She believes that this particular book is inspired of God, just like the Bible that we read tonight. The reason why she called it 'The Key to the Scriptures', that's why the word is in the title of this book, is because she considered herself to be - wait for it - the woman of Revelation chapter 12, the woman who typifies Israel! But she believed that, just as in Revelation 3 and verse 7 the Lord Jesus spoke to one of the churches there, if you care to turn to it, the church at Philadelphia, and He said: 'These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth', she believed that she was the key here, in Revelation 3 and 7, that would open the great mysteries and secrets of God's word.
Mary Baker Eddy described the Bible as a 'dark book', a book that apparently only she had the key to. She claimed that the Bible was full of many mistakes, and that her writings in this book 'Science and Health' had the key to it all. Of course in 1877 she married again to Asa Eddy, and that's where she got her name 'Mary Baker Eddy', in 1879 four years after producing the 'Science and Health' book, she and some of her students established what is called the 'Church of Christ's Scientists' in Boston, Massachusetts. The next slide will show you what that church looks like today - look at the size of the mother church of Christian Science. You can see that it is thriving, not just in Boston but, if I was to give you the statistics tonight, right across the whole globe. Like all cults, not only has it a figure at the very forefront and origination of it, who claims to be God's revelation and God's true prophet of men, but the cult and religion itself claims to be a restoration of the New Testament church again to this present world. Beware of any movement that claims to be the New Testament church again restored as it was in the beginning. In 1881 she opened a metaphysical college and, of course, like many cults, certainly the ones we'll see tonight, she began to charge for her Christian Science services. Now this is the 1800s - 1881 - and she charged 300 dollars for 12 healing sessions. It is no surprise to you, I'm sure, that in 1910 Mary Baker Eddy died a millionaire!
Now let's ask those questions that we began with: is Christian Science, science? That's the first question I want to ask, and I think it's a reasonable question to ask when the title they take is 'Christian Science'. I looked up today in the Oxford English dictionary the definition of 'science', the definition given here is: 'a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles'. Now let me stop there and explain that, 'a branch of knowledge conducted on objective principles', so I - for your benefit - looked up 'objective' in the Oxford English dictionary, and the definition there was: 'external to the mind, things outside the mind'. The definition is: 'actually existing, things that are real' - so not unseen things, but seen things. The definition goes on: 'science involves the systematised observation of those things' - you have to be able to prove it to be scientific - and it goes on: 'experiment with phenomena'. You've got to be able to perform an experiment to prove something scientific especially, it goes on to say, concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe.
Now right away we see that Christian Science is not a science, because it claims to be a science of the mind, and it does not nor cannot prove the principles that it espouses. It has not tested them in any satisfactory way for psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors of the mind worldwide - and all of them claim, if they're reputable at all, that this is a false religion: it is far from scientific. In fact, if you don't know anything about Christian Science, you need to know that Christian Science asserts that pain and sickness are all illusions of the mind. Some of you tonight have got sore teeth, maybe you have sore heads just at the minute! You have sore legs or joints, or a sore heart, and you know that pain is not an illusion - but this is what Christian Science purports. Because of that, the natural reasonable outcome is that they reject the use of medicine, vitamins, nutrition, immunisation, drugs etc etc - how can an organisation call itself 'Christian Science' when it says that illness is an illusion, and won't allow you to take medicine?
The remedy that they give to illness, although it's not medicine or drugs, is to correct these illusions in the mind which are sickness and illness by understanding and practising Christian Science principles. Now understand: if you want to be healed, you've got to join them, you've got to start thinking the way they think, doing what they do, saying what they say. There are groups of full-time Christian, so-called, healing practitioners called 'Christian Science Practitioners' who go around the place espousing these beliefs and philosophies of Christian Science, healing of the mind, and they're claiming that men and women and boys and girls are being healed. I heard tonight just from someone from the fellowship here of someone that they knew in hospital who was refused treatment for a very severe condition, because the Christian Science church would not allow her to take it. There was a great scandal in the media in the 1990s when it was disclosed that 18 children suffered preventable deaths from the year 1980 as their parents, who were Christian Scientists, chose Christian Science metaphysical healing techniques instead of just taking their children to the doctor or phoning an ambulance - eighteen!
We touched last week on Jehovah's Witnesses, and we didn't have time to even deal with the blood issue and I apologise for that, I felt that there were more important issues than that - but we can see a trend starting to evolve, that these cults are characteristic in believing that they know more than medicine, they know more than the Bible, they know more than anyone because they're claiming exclusive knowledge of God and exclusive knowledge of the mechanisms of this universe. Is Christian science, science? I don't have time to go on any further, but I'll tell you this: I think you can see right away that it is far from scientific.
The second thing that we need to ask is: is Christian science Christian? Well, when you find out that it denies, particularly in this book 'Science and Health', all the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, you would know right away that is not Christian. It has no right to take the name of Christ. Not only does it deny the orthodox essential doctrines and tenets of Christianity, but it completely reinterprets the whole of the Bible. Now if this cult didn't use the words 'Jesus', and 'Trinity', and 'love', and 'grace', and 'sin', as it sometimes does, you would never suspect for one moment that it had anything to do with the Bible or Christ at all. It uses those words and phrases that are Christian to 'christen' itself, to make people like you and I who come from Christian backgrounds think they're all right.
Let me show you how they're not, I want to show you a number of quotes by Mary Baker Eddy from her book 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures', all to do with the tenets of what we believe as Christians and how she denies them. The first is regarding the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ, Christian Science denies the substitutionary death of our Saviour. All the references to these quotations are given, if you want them afterwards I can give them to you, but read this one with me - she says: 'One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation', which is another word for sacrifice, so the atonement requires you to sacrifice yourself, sacrifice 'on the sinner's part. That God's wrath should be vented upon his beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made' (Science & Health, 23:3-7). If we go to the next slide you'll see another quote about the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, she says: 'The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon 'the accursed tree', than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father's business' (Science & Health 25:6-8). Does the scripture not teach that our Lord Jesus Christ made one sacrifice for sins forever, and then sat down at the right hand of the Father on high? Does it not teach from the very beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin?
Well, obviously Mary Baker Eddy has a new revelation. Her next quote on the screen speaks of how Christian Science denies that Jesus died, and denies that He rose again. She said the reason why they thought He died and rose again was because: 'His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive...' (Science & Health 44:28-29). He was hiding all the time! Playing hide and seek, He wasn't dead at all! And because He wasn't dead, He didn't rise again. Did not Paul say, and you can note these verses down please if you want to argue in a sanctified gracious away with Christian Scientists, and that's a thing I would encourage you to do with a view to winning them to Christ - don't be cruel with them, don't be ignorant, don't be rude - by all means try to win them for the Lord Jesus. Romans 8:34 says: 'Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again'. First Thessalonians 4 verse 14 says that if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then shall He come to receive them unto Himself who have died in Christ, and we that are alive and remain shall be caught up together with the Lord - those who believe that Jesus died and rose again! First Peter chapter 3 and verse 18 tells us categorically: 'For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit'.
Is there any power in the blood of Christ? There is in His death, Romans 8:34, 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 1 Peter 3:18 - and what does 1 John 1 verse 7 say? 'The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin' - yet Christian Science denies it! Not only does it deny the substitutionary atonement of the Lord, but it denies that Jesus is God. I could give you many quotes of Mary Baker Eddy, but just to prove that she was far from a Christian, please look at this one. She said: 'If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me' (The 1st Church of Christ Scientist & Miscellany, p318-319). Does that not make a shudder go up your spine? Can I ask Mary Baker Eddy and her deceased, and those who follow her today: why is it that the Lord Jesus Himself claimed to be God? Why is it that He said: 'Him that has seen me has seen the Father, I and my Father are one'? Why is it when they took up stones to stone Him, because the Pharisees and the Scribes and the Jews said: 'He being a man, maketh Himself God' - why did He not protest and say: 'I'm not saying I'm God'? Why did He receive worship as God? Because He is God! Because Colossians, another verse to note, Colossians 2:9 says: 'In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily'. Another verse for you to note, 1 Timothy 3 and verse 16: 'Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh'. Who was that God manifest in flesh? It was Jehovah, the living God. How was He manifest in flesh? In the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
But Christian Science does not teach the triune Godhead as the Bible does, in fact it teaches that God is both father and mother. I don't know where they get that, it's certainly not in the Scriptures. The male personal pronoun is what is used right throughout God's word for God - 'He'. But they believe that God is a principle known as the divine mind, He's not a personality, He does not have personhood. They believe that God, and this is their catchphrase, is 'all in all' - God's in you, God's in me, God's in all of creation. They believe about our lovely Lord Jesus Christ that He was a 'way-shower' to God, like many other prophets before Him and after Him, He pointed a way to God and He, they claim, epitomised the true principle of what they call 'Christ-consciousness' which indwells us all. We're all Christs, we're all gods, we've all got a divine spark within us!
Salvation, to the Christian Scientist, involves denying the illusion of sin in your mind. It doesn't matter to them that Romans 3:23 says that there's no difference, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. They say that the way to get rid of that sin is not Christ dying on the cross, or repenting of your sins post-that and having faith in the Lord Jesus, it's denying it in your mind - how Satanic can you get! Ignoring your sin as an illusion! Why is it that God's word in 1 John 1 says: 'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us', and we make God a liar - but if we confess, not deny, not ignore, but confess our sins 'he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' - 1 John 1:8-10. They do not have much faith in our physical senses as they are today, and if they tell us the truth about the material world, and we read 'Science and Health' by Mary Baker Eddy - how can we trust that when we read it? How can we trust anything when we listen to it or read or imbibe anything?
Friends tonight, listen to me: by their fruits ye shall know them. Mary Baker Eddy, in her declining years, put herself under a doctor's care - doesn't that tell you a great deal? She received, in her dying illness, regular morphine injections to ease the pain. She wore glasses, she had tooth extractions, and eventually she died - thus giving the lie to everything she professed to believe, everything that she taught, everything that people are following today - and some are going to the grave, and sending their children to the grave following - yet she denied! I think you can see that that so-called cult faith is from the pit of hell itself. It is neither scientific nor Christian.
We must move on tonight to the second cult for our consideration, Scientology. Asking the question: is Scientology science or is it science fiction? You might find that a strange question, but you'll not in a moment or two. This is perhaps the most dangerous cult or new religion available today in our world. A man called Eugene Methvin of The Reader's Digest wrote these words, not a Christian I don't think, 'Scientology is one of the wealthiest and most dangerous of the major new religions or cults operating today'. Now let me say right away that Scientology does not claim to be Christian. It's not like Christian Science, although it is a mind science faith, it does not claim to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. It believes that the Bible has nothing special about it, any more than any other holy book in any religion across the globe. They don't really look up to a deity or to a god, rather it's a religion about men rather than God. They don't believe there was a Christ. They believe the man who died on the cross was just as much of Christ as you are a Christ or I am a Christ. He was a very good teacher, maybe a little bit better than most, but there was nothing special about the Lord Jesus.
We haven't got time really tonight, but I could let you listen to the founder of Scientology saying: 'There was no Christ'. They deny all the doctrine that we hold dear from the word of God. I'm not going to concentrate tonight regarding Scientology on their doctrine, because many of the things that I've already dealt with last week in the Jehovah's Witnesses and just now regarding Christian Science I have covered concerning Scientology as well. What I want to look at particularly is the popularity of this cult in our world today. You will see a number of celebrities, you'll probably recognise most of them - the first is Priscilla Presley, the wife of the late Elvis Presley; next is Elvis Presley and Priscilla's daughter, Lisa-Marie Presley; the next is an actress called Kelly Preston; the next bottom left is Tom Cruise; the next is Kirstie Alley another actress; and finally the famous actor John Travolta. Now all of these celebrity individuals are followers of the Scientology cult. In fact, there is a seven story celebrity centre in the city of Hollywood in California dedicated to Scientologists who are celebrities. It's remarkable! In fact, John Travolta said, and I quote him: 'Scientology contains the secrets of the universe'.
Now Scientology is extremely dangerous when you consider that these are only some of the celebrities that are following the teachings of this cult today, and many young people may follow them. It's also dangerous because, and I say this advisedly, the leadership of Scientology is full of crooks, hucksters and conmen - not just in a spiritual sense. In fact, some of the members in Scientology leadership have been involved in robbery, in espionage, kidnapping, blackmail and conspiracy. In October 1979 there were nine Scientology workers, including the wife of the leader, who were found guilty in a US court of conspiracy charges. The man who was in charge as the assistant US attorney of that investigation and prosecution, a man by the name of Raymond Banoun remarked in these words of these people: 'The evidence presented to the court shows brazen criminal campaigns against private and public organisations and individuals. The Scientology officials hid behind claims of religious liberty while inflicting injuries upon every element of society'.
Now I want to turn our attention to the biggest conman of all in Scientology, and that is the founder of Scientology. Its founder is a fiction author, this is important: its founder is a fiction author - and I'm not being facetious. He literally has authored more than 200 fictional novels - this is his picture on the next slide, his name is Lafayette Ron Hubbard - what a name! The fact of the matter is, this perhaps is one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous man in religious life - and I'm excluding, of course, the truth of Christianity - in our world today. I'm going to show you a video clip just now about this man and some of his claims, and I believe that you will be absolutely astounded. Watch it very carefully, some biographical details about Ron Hubbard:
[Begin video transcript]
Narrator: "In new gurus and religions, none is more powerful or successful than L. Ron Hubbard and the church of Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard moved effortlessly from writing bestselling science fiction books, like 'Beyond the Black Nebula', or 'The Emperor of the Universe', to founding a new church 'Scientology', and the writing of a new spiritual guidebook 'Dianetics'. L. Ron Hubbard was a man of astounding abilities and even more astounding claims. He claimed that in earlier incarnations he visited heaven twice. His first visit allegedly took place 43 trillion years ago"
L. Ron Hubbard: "Heaven is not a floating island in the sky, but a high place in the mountains of another planet. Visitors arrive in a town comprising a trolley bus, some building fronts, a boarding house, a bistro in a basement, and a bank building. Although there seem to be people around - in the boarding house there was a lady in a kimono - but these were only effigies, the bank is the key point of interest. Inside was a flight of marble stairs leading to the pearly gates. The gates are well done, well built, an avenue of statues of saints leads up to them. The entering grounds are well-kept, laid out like bush gardens in Pasadena so often seen in the movies".
Narrator: "Hubbard claims he dropped in on heaven a trillion years later and found it in a sorry state"
L. Ron Hubbard: "The place is shabby, the vegetation is gone, the pillars are scruffy, the saints have vanished and so have the angels. Inside the grounds one can see the excavations, like archaeological diggings with raw terraces that lead to hell. Plain wire fencing encloses the place"
Narrator: "Scientology is certainly not in decay. Its celebrity centre in Hollywood provides a refuge for stars like Tom Cruise. In this very Babylonian bit of the town Scientology's doctrines of survival and self-esteem, and its hostility to drugs and psychiatry carry a special appeal"
[End video transcript]
Ron Hubbard Jr., that is Ron Hubbard senior's eldest son, who came to change his name because he was so ashamed of the con-tricks of his father, claimed to a Newsweek reporter in 1982: 'My father claimed that his theories relating to Scientology were based on 30 years of case histories and research. In fact they were written off the top of his head while he was under the influence of drugs'. He went on to say: 'My father is one of the biggest conmen of this century', yet celebrities are running after Scientology! You will find Scientology churches in Ireland and in some of the richest cities in the world - people are being duped! Now, let me show you another video on Ron Hubbard, this comes from, I think it's the ITV programme 'The Big Story' a few years ago. Dermot Murnaghan is the journalist, and here we see some more claims concerning Ron Hubbard:
[Begin video transcript]
DM: "Scientology was created by this man, Lafayette Ron Hubbard, or plain Ron to his followers. From within Hubbard's inner circle his PR man, Vaughn Young, worked on Ron's chief ambition for 20 years"
Young: "Hubbard literally had a plan for world conquest. He actually literally wanted to take over the world, but he had to put it in other terms, and the term he came up with was to clear the planet. This sounds like a very beneficent action, we're going to 'clear the planet', which means rid it of its problems. But really it was more of a case like a Hitler, that he wants to rid the planet of vermin, and the vermin are the people that are stopping him - these were basically the enemies of Scientology".
DM: "Scientologists dismiss as propaganda all criticism of Ron Hubbard, the church or their beliefs from former members, or apostates as they call them. But there are plenty of independent sources too. Science fiction writer Hubbard created a colourful life history for himself, claiming to be a nuclear physicist, explorer and war hero. This was exposed as the myth it was by Sunday Times journalist Russell Miller".
Miller: "Ron Hubbard was a charlatan, a liar, a confidence trickster, a thief. He invented his whole life, he invented a career to substantiate himself as a Guru for the Church of Scientology".
DM: "In 1968 Hubbard was banned from Britain and took to the high seas. The crew of mostly young followers became the elite core of Scientology, the 'Sea Organisation'"
Interviewer: "Do you ever think that you might be quite mad?"
Hubbard: "Oh yes, the one man in the world who never believes he's mad is a madman"
DM: "Hubbard's organisation fought back against bans and adverse publicity worldwide to become a multimillion-dollar empire controlling a myriad of interlocking companies. Hubbard left 650 million dollars when he died in 1986. Scientology then passed to a new master, David Miscavige".
[End video transcript]
Now I hope you can see right away why I said its founder was a fiction author, he was literally a fiction author - but the religion that he founded and formed is almost fictional itself, except that those that follow it believe that it is absolute truth. We know from the truth of God's word that it is a lie, but from the very fact that celebrities, film stars, those who to us are not real to the naked eye, we don't know them as real individuals, follow it - you can see the fictional nature of its design and the lie of the devil.
Its founder is a fiction author, its claims, secondly, are fictitious falsehoods. On the next slide you'll see two books that Ron Hubbard wrote, 'What Is Scientology?', and 'Clear Body and Clear Mind' - and of course, like many of the mind sciences, he believed that the way to Utopia was to get your mind cleared. I'll not go into all the technical terms of it, but Dianetics, what he believed in, was to get rid of negative thoughts and negative emotions that have been in your life from your birth, that would be the way to real deliverance and salvation. He believed that it would take billions of years, and when you sign up to Scientology you actually sign a certificate that commits you to a billion year's service! How would you like that? They believe, of course, in reincarnation.
In 1949 Hubbard attributed an improvement in his own health to this discovery of dianetics. It was the modern science of mental health, the psychology of the subconscious mind. Now it is mind-blowing what this man believed. I'm going to show you now a video of a man called Jon Atack, who has studied this, he came out of the movement, and he has studied it and tries to explain - you'll not understand a word of it - what these people believe. It is absolutely astonishing, you've heard of his claims of going to heaven, seeing what it was like trillions of years ago, going back trillions of years later and it was in ill repute - wait till you hear these claims of what they believe:
[Begin video transcript]
DM: "Former Scientologist Jon Atack has collected an enormous archive on the bizarre system of beliefs that Ron Ron Hubbard invented. 'Clearing the planet' means taking everyone to the secret 'OT' or Operating Thetan levels. It can cost Scientologist around £20,000 to discover these inner mysteries".
Atack: "Once you've paid an enormous amount of money, and signed a covenant of secrecy, and you get onto the third OT level, you're told that a galactic prince called Xenu, some 75 million years ago, rounded up the populations of 76 planets averaging 178 billion per planet, and brought them to earth and clustered them together using hydrogen bombs having dumped them in volcanoes".
DM: "The spirit of these exciles, or Thetans, has Hubbard called them, on release from the volcanoes attached themselves to human beings. Here's one of them on the cover of one of his many books".
Atack: "Scientologists who are doing OT levels come to believe that they are inhabited by thousands of little alien spirits, extraterrestrials spirits, and they're basically seeking to exorcise these spirits which are governing their behaviour and reactions".
[End video transcript]
Well, those are the claims of Scientology, how we all got here and why we're in the problem we're in. The next thing I want you to note very briefly is its profits. We did hear the narrator describing what Ron Hubbard is meant to have seen as he was taken up to heaven, and the thing of key feature, please remember it, was the bank. Did you notice that? The bank, and it was that bank from which came the pearly steps right up to heaven. The profits of the Scientology movement are fantastic in themselves, not just are their claims fictitious falsehoods, and their founder a fiction author, but their profits are fantastic. This next slide is Lisa-Marie Presley, who we've seen before tonight, who is Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley's daughter. In August 1986 the headline of the Daily Express was: 'Scientologists adopt daughter worth millions: Elvis heiress cult shock'. The reason for that headline was that Lisa-Marie Presley was about to inherit on her 18th birthday two million dollars from her deceased father. On her 21st birthday she was going to inherit another 2 million, and she was to inherit up to 30 million dollars and the Graceland estate where Elvis used to live when she was 25. Surprise, surprise that the Scientologists were so interested in her! In fact a waitress at the Scientology retreat said, I quote: 'She', Lisa-Marie, 'is being handled very carefully. They know she will come into a lot of money and they expect a large chunk of it'.
The next slide will show you some of the wealthy purchased expensive properties in America, some also in Britain which they possess, many large buildings like this: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles, and also the one we showed you, the celebrity centre. They own property right across the world, and the boat that you saw which was called the 'Apollos', in 1976 US tax officials found £1,250,000 in cash aboard it! Hubbard used to charge between £1,700 and £6,300 for consultation and for some of his more advanced courses. The estimated annual income, gross, of the Scientology movement is £45 million - and you heard what he had to his name when he died.
Now listen friends, this is what happens: you're walking down the street, someone comes and does a questionnaire. They enrol you in some courses to have you rid your mind of negative thoughts. Before you know it, and I have seen these testimonies, you're sitting before a man who looks at you eyeball to eyeball for an hour or over an hour until you're in a trance-like state. People have testified that you begin to hallucinate, you see scales on people's faces, they turn lizard-like, negative turns to positive, positive to negative - and right away, after that hypnotic experience, you're taken into an office and made to sign up for more courses totalling thousands upon thousands of pounds. People have testified to consciously handing over their bank book, credit card details, not of their own volition.
Its profits are fantastic, its claims are fictitious falsehoods, its founder is a fiction author, but fourthly and finally: its fruit can be and often is fatal. There are people who have committed suicide because of their affiliation to Scientology. I'm going to show you just now a clip of a woman, and this clip is perhaps the only person in the whole of Ireland who has been big enough to admit that they've come out of the Scientology movement, who have been courageous enough - because it's not a movement to come out of easily, and they will not treat you well for doing it. This was shown on the 'Late Late Show' in 1995, and this is the last clip, we're almost at the end - this girl is called Mary Johnson. Watch it carefully and see the fear that is in this woman's face, and listen carefully to how a cult can get hold of a person's spirit:
[Begin video transcript]
Interviewer: "Mary Johnson here on my left, and let me tell you about Mary Johnson, OK? Mary Johnson is from Dundalk, a catholic, she went to school in St Vincent's Mercy Convent in Dundalk. She came first in the town at the Leaving Cert, and first in Ireland in Italian in the Leaving Cert. She went to Trinity, got a degree in Russian and French, she then went to study Marketing at night in the College of Commerce in Rathmines, and did a four-year course in two years. She's an inter-pro squash player for Leinster, and also has coaching qualifications. She plays guitar and sings, and has her own business here in Dublin - she runs a sports shop. Just over two years ago she was introduced to Scientology, the Church of Scientology, by a friend called Tom. Mary, let me just summarise the bare skeleton of what I know about you. You were introduced by Tom, the idea was that Scientology offered you a chance to further your career, your self-fulfilment, your freedom and control over your own life if you took a course; which you did and you paid for. Whether you succeeded in that or not, the idea was that you go to do a second course, and you pay for that, and so on to a third course, and you pay for that. You found yourself being drawn into this organisation, and you began to get worried about it and concerned about your place in it, and then your family brought pressure to bear upon you, or influence at least to bear upon you to get out. Because of the concern and efforts on their part, and on the part of your friends, you eventually declutched with some difficulty - with some difficulty. Is that a fair sort of summary in broad outline?"
Johnson: "Yes, in broad outline"
Interviewer: "Why are you frightened to be here tonight?"
Johnson: "I'm frightened to be here, Gaye, because I'm intimidated by the people who are here from the Church of Scientology. The first point I would like to make is that the reason I am here is because I'm the only Irish person who is an ex-member of the Church of Scientology who is prepared to speak out. People...ex-members don't speak out, that's the first point. The second point is that it's interesting that the Church of Scientology has seen fit to fly in two people from England today for this show, when I'm Irish, we're dealing with the Church of Scientology in Ireland - are they not happy to have their own members here to speak?"
Interviewer: "You got out relatively easily, did you not?"
Johnson: "I did, because my family worked very quickly and very thoroughly to get information on the Church of Scientology, and but for that intervention I wouldn't be here today"
Interviewer: "Was there pressure brought to bear upon you when you when you were getting out, or at any time when you were in, when you first began to voice your reservations?"
Johnson: "From whom, from the Church?"
Interviewer: "From the Church, yes"
Johnson: "Well, I didn't actually voice my reservations to the Church, by the time my family had intervened I had made a commitment to the Church that I was going to give up my business and move to England and work for the Church for one billion years. Because at that stage I believed in reincarnation, which I don't believe in".
Interviewer: "One billion years?"
Johnson: "Yes, one billion years"
Interviewer: "And their influence had got you to the point of almost selling up your business, is that so?"
Johnson: "Yes, their suggestion was that I would be more fulfilled in Scientology and 'would it not be good idea if I sold my business?'"
Interviewer: "OK, so you're frightened to be here tonight. When you finally decided to leave, was there pressure and intimidation brought to bear on you?"
Johnson: "When I left Scientology, the following week I had about 20 phonecalls from people in Scientology to find out why I hadn't come back and reported on the intervention of my family, because I was drilled on how to deal with my family by members of the church"
Interviewer: "You were told what to say to your family?"
Johnson: "I would have a member of the Church of Scientology role-playing my mother, or my sister, or my brother-in-law, and I would answer them, defending the Church of Scientology"
Interviewer: "And you did pretty good at that?"
Johnson: "I was a good student I believe"
Interviewer: "Yes, and then eventually you got these phonecalls - were they threatening phonecalls? Intimidating phonecalls? Bullying? "
Johnson: "Not at that stage, but the problem with them was that they were always - they were to my business, they were to my home, they were invasive. I found them very much invading my privacy. I just...the intimidation, the reason why I feel intimidation is because...I am frightened because the Church of Scientology in the past has revealed personal details given by people like me in confidence to them during counselling sessions. That's why I'm frightened, because they have used details given in confidence to silence their critics"
[End video transcript]
I wish I had time, but in that 'Big Story' that we saw a couple of clips ago, there was an undercover journalist who joined the Scientology movement. She was given one of these questionnaires that you heard Mary talking about, and some of the questions that were on that questionnaire touched on intimate relationships that she had had, sexual relationships, asked her to be explicit and specific. What happens is that they find all this out about you, and if you blow the whistle on that organisation, they will publish those details. That is what we're dealing with when we talk about cults, especially Scientology. They aren't stupid people that are following in these cults, but do the words of the Lord Jesus Christ not come forcibly to us, when He said: 'You cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve God and money'? Beware of any religious faith that motivates men and women to give money in order to purge their souls, in order to have salvation. Beware of any organisation that says Jesus is 'a way', for Jesus said in John 14: 6: 'I am the way'. He is not one of many truths, but He said: 'I am the truth'. There's no other way to have life other than Him, because He is the life. He is the only way to the Father, to God. He is the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved.
Can I say to all of you here tonight: you have no idea, most of you, what is going on in the unseen realm of the spiritual world. You have no idea at times what you're opening your mind, and your hearts, and your ears, and your eyes to. That is why God's word says to the believer: 'Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind'. Can I leave you with this verse, 2 Corinthians 10, and I want you to turn to it - this is where we'll finish. Second Corinthians 10, this is a verse that will liberate you if you're not saved, if you're involved in sinful habits, if you're involved in sinful cults, and even if you're a believer and you've been wrapped up in something that has you in bondage tonight, listen to these words - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: '(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)' - Satan's strongholds - 'Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ'. Hallelujah! Christ, the name high over all:
'All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall,
bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown Him Lord of all'.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the second tape in his Strongholds Shaken series, titled "Christian Science and Scientology" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word. The inclusion of Images and diagrams in this transcript is done without intention to breach any copyright restrictions. If this has been done in any instance, please contact us and we will willingly remove the offending item.
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