Cult Cage Match: Scientology vs. The Church of Blood!
Despite the fact that MG3 referred to me as "Limbaugh, Jr." a few weeks ago, I think of myself as fairly liberal, especially when it comes to religion. I consider my own beliefs about spirituality to be a pretty personal thing and rarely discuss them (except, of course, when it comes to the half-hour Christian radio drama Adventures in Odyssey), so I'm generally cool with whatever you want to worship.
That said, Scientology is fucking insane.
Now that's not some big revelation that I'm dropping on you or anything. I think that it's something we all know instinctively, like how we know not to touch fire or stick things in our eyes. But for some reason, a lot of folks have gotten the notion that it's not at all bat-shit nuts, and so I decided as a public service to put Scientology to the test by comparing it to one of my favorite cults, the Church of Blood!
Scientology is a religion started in 1952 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who was famously quoted as saying: "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." The basic principle seems to be that you've got--in addition to your physical body--an alien soul, or "thetan" rattling around in your head. The thetan can remember its past lives, wherein it was run over by a Martian bishop riding a steamroller, and that's the reason you're not happy.
The Church of Blood is a messianic cult started by a fallen missionary named Brother Sebastian in the 1300s outside of the nation of Zandia. He found what may be a cape that belonged to Jesus and declared himself Brother Blood, the title which his eight successors have taken as leaders of the cult. Details are a little sketchy, but mostly it involves rivers of blood and fighting the Teen Titans in an effort to bring about the end of the world.
Pretty even so far, although in actuality the Church of Blood was created by Marv Wolfman, who is by all acounts a really nice guy.
The Good Guys
Both of these groups have an incredible amount of reverence for their leaders, they key difference being that one of them has a sweet George Perez costume, and the other wrote Battlefield Earth and uses words like "ideafyingness."
Advantage: Brother Blood
The Bad Guys
Here's where it gets good. When you reach Operating Thetan Level 3, (OT III), you find out about a guy called Xenu. Xenu, according to Wikipedia, is " galactic ruler who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes, and blew them up with hydrogen bombs." So that's a tough customer. He also made the folks he blew up (the thetans) watch "three-d super collossal motion picture" for a month to rob them of their free will.
In the Church of Blood, however, the cultists worship Trigon, the demon-king of another dimension who fathered a child on Earth with a human woman. Unfortunately, she was spirited away to the peaceful dimension of Azarath, whose sorcerors kept Trigon in check until he gathered up the soul-energy of his dimension to destroy Azarath and come to earth. He was only stopped when the Titans killed Raven and used the soul of Azar to blast him out of existence.
Scientolgy is widely criticized for being a nonsensical, transparent scam that serves only to brainwash its adherents and vilify those who genuinely want to help people with their psychological problems. Membership pretty much requires exorbitant donations. All that stuff about Xenu up there? You guys owe me about $360 grand, bucko.
The Church of Blood is widely criticized for being, you know, an evil cult that's dedicated to bringing about Armageddon. If you join up, you're probably going to get kicked in the face by Cyborg.
The Church of Blood, by its nature as an evil organization, tends to do things like kidnapping infants to raise as worshippers and using sleeper agents to infiltrate the media and turn public opinion against their enemies.
The Church of Scientology, though, was implicated in what they called "Operation Snow White," where eleven high-ranking Scientologists (including Hubbard's wife) infiltrated the IRS in the largest incident of domestic espionage in the history of the United States, which they all served prison time for. They've also been implicated in attempts to frame people for stuff like bomb threats, and Hubbard said in 1966 that "we want at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one."
(By the way, when Tom Cruise told Matt Lauer that he knew the history of psychiatry, he's referring to how psychiatrists are actually time travelers who invented pain and sex as a way to suppress the thetans. Also, I hated Collateral. Also, he eats babies.)
I've got to say, the biggest act of espionage in the history of the country? That makes Brother Blood's attempt to impregnate Raven with the anti-messiah look like chump change.
Well played, Hubbard. Advantage: Terl.