Submitted to Washington
Post online discussion with Frank K. Flinn 07-05-2005
Dear Dr. Flinn:
You testified as a religious expert for Scientology at my trial in Los
Angeles Superior Court in 1984. The case was Scientology vs. Gerry Armstrong.
I invite you and everyone to read your extraordinary trial testimony
on my web site www.gerryarmstrong.org
I also invite everyone to read the judgment in that case, which was affirmed
Your goal of getting Scientology accepted as a religion has certainly
been successful, whatever part you played in it. We were all saved from
ever having to debate again whether Scientology is a religion when the U.S.
Government declared, around time of the grant of Scientology's tax exemption,
that it is solely the decision of an organization itself that it is "religious"
that makes it "religious" and consequently a "religion."
And consequently is equal with every other religion in America and equally
due the same benefits and protections.
I have simply had to face the fact, and we all must really, that in the
U.S. a commercial enterprise, a scam, a hate group, a political organization,
an intelligence organization and a criminal conspiracy, all of which natures
Scientology has, can all determine to be "religious," and they're
a "religion." So I'm not arguing that by the U.S.'s law, or by
my necessary standards, Scientology is not a religion.
I would like you instead to look at your standards or your criteria for
what makes an organization "religious" and a "religion,"
in light of a couple of plain documentable facts.
You were asked (transcript p. 4039) by Scientology's lawyer to identify
the characteristics that in your judgment defined a religion? You answered
that your "definition of religion is that religion has to contain a
system of beliefs, and these beliefs must be carried out in
what would traditionally be called practices of a spiritual or religious
The lawyer then asked if you had observed that Scientology meets these
characteristics. You answered " A Yes. I think Scientology definitely
has a belief system. That belief system is expressed in what Scientology
calls the creed of Scientology."
The "Creed of Scientology" is readily available in Scientology
publications and on the Internet and consists of a number of human rights
precepts. Relevant for this discussion, the creed states: "We of the
Church believe: That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to
talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter
or write upon the opinions of others."
You wrote a paper, entitled, I don't think ironically, "Scientology:
The Marks of Religion," in which you also provide the characteristics
you believe a "religion" must have, and then state that you "can
state without hesitation that the Church of Scientology constitutes a bona
fide religion. It possesses all the essential marks of religions known around
the world: (1) a well-defined belief system."
In support of your assertion that Scientology has a well-defined belief
system you provide the complete Scientology creed, with the free speech
tenet I've quoted above.
The Scientology vs. Gerry Armstrong legal battle has continued since
1984, and now principally involves Scientology's effort to silence me about
my Scientology-related experiences and beliefs, and punish me for any expressions
of my experiences and beliefs. Scientology is attempting to enforce a "contract"
against me which the organization claims prohibits me from even saying the
word "Scientology," and certainly prohibits me from talking freely,
writing freely and countering or uttering or writing upon the opinions of
Scientology claims that I must pay the organization $50,000 for each
time I express my beliefs about this "religion," is currently
seeking $10,000,000, and also is trying to have me jailed for these expressions.
The "beneficiaries" to Scientology's contract include every
Scientology corporation, every related entity, and all of their directors,
officers, employees, volunteers, agents and attorneys. That is, virtually
every Scientologist and all of their organizations are contracted to violate
their creed, to even use the U.S. secular courts prohibit me from talking
freely, writing freely and countering or uttering or writing upon the opinions
Since the Scientology vs. Armstrong litigation demonstrates that Scientology's
creed is a sham, and that Scientologists are actively, willfully violating
it, and are paying huge sums to lawyers to obtain the "benefits"
of their willful violations of their creed, the "system of beliefs"
expressed in the creed cannot be Scientologists' actual beliefs at all.
So my question is, since you base Scientology's being a religion, in
your opinion, on the creed being its system of beliefs, if Scientology's
creed is not its system of beliefs, which the Armstrong "contract"
demonstrates it is not, would you agree that it is not, according to your
characteristics, a religion?
Or is an organization with a system of belief in hypocrisy and a sacrament
of lying, with the new U.S. Government self-determination approach to religions,
"religious" enough to meet your standards?
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