The General Release Regarding Spiritual Assistance for Scientology states; “This Contract is my statement of my personal understanding concerning Scientology Religious tenets…”
This is like asking someone take a final exam before taking the course.
-How can someone just seeking to join Scientology have personal understanding of Scientology’s religious tenets when Scientology does not even reveal all of their beliefs to their actual members until they’ve worked their way up the Bridge and meet Xenu? The signee cannot possibly agree to something that has not been revealed or explained to them.
-Further, the signee is told that Scientology is simply for the spiritual growth of it’s members and to “create a better world”. These are nebulous expressions that cannot be firmly defined. Once in, the sole focus is to move up The Bridge and Clear the Planet. What that exactly entails, however, is not clear. Therefore it could be argued that Scientology deliberately misleads the potential member as to what they are signing up for. There is no real quid pro quo. Scientology clearly states that the onus, always, is on the signee. That there are no claims or promises made by COS. There is nothing tangible offered in return for the signee’s participation, work for free, donations and surrendering of their right to be treated by competent, licensed Mental Health professionals.
In any case what defines Spiritual Growth? What legally defines “spirit”? How does one measure the growth or evolution of something that cannot be defined, mapped or charted? If the member does not experience spiritual growth how do they know?
Scientology covers this issue themselves in the Enrollment Agreement
c. “The founder of the Scientology religion is American author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard (hereafter known as “LRH”), whose writings and recorded spoken words on the subjects of Scientology and Dianetics are a record of his observations and research into the nature of the human spirit and condition. The writings and recorded spoken words of LRH on the subjects of Scientology and Dianetics present a guide intended to assist persons to become more aware of themselves as persons, restoring trust and respect for self and others. They are not a statement of claims by the Church, by any other Scientology Church or organization, or by LRH.
-Yet the Scientology website states:
1. “The Scientology religion provides answers to many questions about life and death. It encompasses an exact, precisely mapped-out path. In developing Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard discovered a technology to free the human spirit and thereby allow Man to really know himself. He thoroughly tested all procedures and recorded those that proved most workable in bringing about uniformly predictable results. These comprise standard Scientology technology.”
2. “Factually, Mr. Hubbard was one of the first to discover and expose actual mind control and brainwashing experimentation as conducted by United States military and intelligence agencies during and after World War II. Moreover, he also discovered the technology he had developed, Dianetics, could undo the effects of an insidious form of hypnotism called “pain-drug-hypnosis.”
Obviously there are more claims stated on the website.
3. “L. Ron Hubbard provided a precise delineation of these states, and then clarified how they could be attained by arranging them on a chart which graphically showed each step of the route upward.”
4. “The Scientology religion provides answers to many questions about life and death. It encompasses an exact, precisely mapped-out path. In developing Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard discovered a technology to free the human spirit and thereby allow Man to really know himself. He thoroughly tested all procedures and recorded those that proved most workable in bringing about uniformly predictable results. These comprise standard Scientology technology.”
This does not sound like a “guide intended to assist” but rather these and other statements do more to show that Hubbard worked out the tech and it was expected to be followed. The statements and claims made on their website are in no way indicative of a simple guide. LRH called himself “the author of the Textbooks of Scientology.”
e. “Neither the Church nor any other Scientology Church or organization which espouses, presents, propagates or practices the Scientology religion makes any claim:
II. That the application of any Scientology or Dianetics technology or practice will have any particular effect on me or any other person, or
III. That any particular result may be forthcoming from my participation in any Scientology Religious Service. I specifically acknowledge that I have read and that I understand Scientology Policy Directive 13 March 1996. Statements by Staff Members, which states clearly that if any individual staff member of any Scientology Church or organization makes any claims about the results which may be forthcoming from my participation in any Scientology Religious Service, any such claims are the personal opinions and beliefs of that staff member only, and are not claims made by the Church or any other Scientology Church or organization.”
In a nutshell the contracts between a potential member and Scientology offer nothing in return for the new member’s agreement to sign over all rights to their medical care, to free (volunteer) labor with no recompense even for overtime and the understanding that there will be “donations” made. Can such a contract be legal when it is so unequally weighted against the signee? In the event of a mental health emergency the new member is asked to give something akin to Power of Attorney to an Organization for their care. An Organization with NO licensing or training in the field of psychiatry and the intricacies of Mental Health that expects to use a formula, the Purification Rundown and the Introspection Rundown, to “cure” the person.
Again this Contract is weighted against the signee- in this instance it is potentially putting the member’s health and life in jeopardy. Is there any other Organization in this country allowed to practice medicine without licensing, training and supervision by the State and approved medical review boards? While Scientology may be skirting around the FDA with the E-Meters, there is no ambiguity concerning the Introspection Rundown and it’s procedures.
Since the practice of medicine without a license is illegal then the requirement that the signee agree to use Scientology’s Introspection Rundown must be null.
A secondary question arises concerning possible future mental health emergencies and the repercussions.
In several places in the Spiritual Enrollment Agreement and the General Release the signee is expected to sign/speak for his/her heirs, attorneys and or family members stating that those people will not in the future sue or otherwise attack COS and that COS can override the aforementioned people in the decision making process if the signee faces a mental health issue. Since one cannot legally sign a contract on behalf of someone else without their knowledge or consent this clause cannot be legally binding. This assertion goes so far as to state that no one may sue Scientology on behalf of the signee in perpetuity.
This is supposed to be a Spiritual Agreement not a legal Power of Attorney. A Church cannot be expected to make mental health diagnoses or provide treatment, especially during times of crisis when the patient may be a danger to himself or others. This agreement asks the signee to agree to place their mental health care into the hands of unqualified, unlicensed people in exchange for the promise that neither the signee nor his family will seek recompense when something goes wrong. Again, skewed in Scientology’s favor, giving the Organization (questionable) power and control over a person’s very life while offering nothing of substance in return.
As far as the promise of spiritual growth. Considering that this is not something that can be defined, how then, can it be promised? What is “Spiritual Growth”? How is it measured? Where does it begin? Can a child’s innocent faith be considered the beginning? What about the state of one’s spiritual health during times of crisis? Times of doubt? How is any of this quantified?
A person’s basic growth and development can be charted only so far. The first stages of an infant’s life are monitored to make sure they are developing according to a recognized chart for height, weight, motor skills, etc. Yet even here the charting is only a guide as each child is different and develops on his or her own timeline. One child meets a milestone early while another takes longer. If the known, physical development of a person is so flux and individual how then can such an unknown, undefined and fluid thing as “Spirit” be charted and expanded? How can Scientology fulfill it’s end of the Agreement if there is no way to prove growth let alone something so esoteric as spirit?
Can there be a legally binding contract based upon spiritual issues? Religion is so varied and so complex that attempting to define it or to confine it to one easy to handle explanation is impossible. Someone raised in the Catholic tradition will not hold the same ideals or doctrines as a Protestant or again as a Muslim or Buddhist. If the Law accepts these Scientology Agreements as legally binding, then it opens the door to chaos. Those who deny medical treatment for their children who are dangerously ill because they believe God will intervene will be free from prosecution if those children die of neglect. The line between Church and State will blur until it is invisible. Scientology decrees that it’s members will experience Spiritual Growth and that through the Introspection Rundown psychotic episodes can be treated. It claims that by climbing The Bridge one can eventually cure illness and control physical things with their minds. It expects potential members to agree to work not as paid employees but as volunteers with no recourse to Labor Laws. This so called Religion crosses the line between what is a spiritual belief and what makes a billion dollar corporation run. It blurs the divide between Faith and Mental Health thus placing it’s participants in danger. It is time to stop allowing this financial institution to hide behind the façade of religion and begin dismantling the rhetoric.
These agreements are not legal documents. They are based upon unenforceable, undefinable and impossible tenets. They are weighted against the potential member in that he or she is expected to work any number of hours often doing jobs they have no real training for, against OSHA regulations and Labor Laws, for little or no compensation. They are expected to place their mental health into the hands of completely unqualified and unlicensed people. They are expected to waive all their rights as well as the rights of others, even after their deaths, to sue COS. More and more the care, or lack thereof, of the children of Scientologists is becoming a serious question. If Scientology forces children and parents to separate then it’s as the very least parental interference if not outright kidnapping. If the parents are willingly abandoning their children to others then it is abandonment and neglect and CPS needs to be involved.
How can any of this be enforceable? How can any of this be allowed to continue status quo?
It is time to revoke the Religious Shield that the Cult of Scientology hides behind and allow investigations into the allegations of child labor, abuse, molestation, rape, false imprisonment, tax evasion and any others that surface. It is time to nullify as worthless these ridiculous Agreements and allow former members and their families to be given justice.