Just so we’re clear: We seriously can’t stress enough the vastness of the sea of money the Church of Scientology floats upon. However, by far the most clever and infuriating detail here isn’t their awesome power to tame federal institutions with fat green stacks of presidential flashcards, but rather that they’ve managed to harness one of the most cherished rights we have: religious freedom.
In 2013, a lengthy U.K. court battle resulted in five Supreme Court justices redefining religion to not exclusively require the belief in a god, allowing a couple to be married in the Church of Scientology. If you know absolutely nothing about Scientology, this seems like a clear-cut piece about the victory of religious freedom, and not the snarling hoot of triumph from the gullet of a terrifying monster. And that’s the tricky little problem.
Despite very possibly being a money-hoarding, murdering, occult scam that preys on the cast of Look Who’s Talking – it’s damn near impossible to dictate what brand of spirituality people choose to believe in when there’s no absolute evidence that it’s hurting anyone any more than any other religion out there.
It’s our willingness to respect freedom of religion that makes us vulnerable to the rancid mindspawn of pathological science-fiction writers who seek to take advantage of that. And you know what? That trust is what makes us awesome. Without the freedom to pursue ideas and spirituality, we would never grow as a society, even if that freedom occasionally produces a Jonestown or a Hitler. You just have to take the good with the bad and have the wisdom to tell the two apart.
5 Reasons It’s Always Impossible To Take On Scientology