As an atheist, I think that all religions are scams. 

But I'm curious to know what you guys think is the limit between "religion" and "scam"?

Our government protects us from exploitation and abuse, and there is a lot of evidence that Scientology is exploiting and abusing its members financially and emotionall, so where does religion stop? When would the government be justified in dissolving the organization to protect against it's exploitation, if at all?

Tags: 1st, amendment, government, religion, scam, scientology, secular

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Thanks for the link. I have just started looking over some of it and it's got some interesting stuff! Scientology is very dangerous I think. As a religion it's no more absurd than most others, but this organization is actively doing harm. Unlike preachers and imams and rabbis, I think that these people KNOW that what they are preaching is and that they are in this for the sole purpose of money and coercion. It sickens me. No wonder France tried (unsuccessfully) to ban them.
So wait a minute here. I am not trying to defend Scientology or anything, but you are telling me that a religion is more dangerous when the leaders know that they are swindling people? I think it is more dangerous when the religion swindles the leaders into swindling other people. That is way more mind control. Plus, you would be surprised at just how many Priests and Abrahamic religious leaders have realized that their religion is a lie and have continued to preach to get the pay check while they try to find a way to make a living doing something else. Of course they usually change there message and preach morality under the guise of belief because they actually have a conscience, but the point is the same.
You might want to watch Tory's vids as well. She's an x sci' and really lays it on the line;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA7onL5TzDE

And yeah,I say shut um down...I'd shut all religions down,but they would just go into hiding and keep spreading their sick woo and drinking the Kool Aid.
Does anyone know if there are any US Federal Court decisions that define what a religion is?

Personally I don't think Scientology is a religion. L. Ron Hubbard created it to make money and because of his hatred for psychiatry. Scientology's treatment modalities for mental illness are pseudoscience. I think psychiatry and the DSM is pseudoscience and the pharmaceutical industry is a scam, but that's another discussion.

Lisa McPherson Memorial Page: killed by the Church of Scientology

Jeremy Perkins: A Scientology Tragedy
Joseph Smith didn't make Mormonism to make money? Paul didn't create Christianity to get power? All religion is a scam!
I agree. Churches are not built out of the goodness of people's hearts,churches are built to deceive people and fleece them.
In amending the 1940 Act, Congress adopted almost intact the langua...

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/hrj/iss16/gunn.shtml#fn33

It's not a cut and dry situation, especially if one respects the Constitution. Although, I had thought that this particular group was under investigation for illegal practices/money scams and/or some of their "recruitment practices". Perhaps I am in error though.

If I didn't believe in the Constitutional Authority, I would say, "Tom Cruise is involved, burn it, burn it all".
Protecting them is like protecting the Mafia. Much less treacherous "cults" have been massacred.
You have an issue with il cosca, do you?
I guess by "protect" them I meant to ensure they have the right to practice their idiotic cult, just as the Mormons and Christians do. I certainly don't think the government should encourage them, but their frauds and scandals are so egregious that I wonder if it would be irresponsible NOT to punish or dissolve the organization.
I disagree that Mormon and Christian practices are as idiotic as Scientology. I think it is safer to practice Christianity and Mormonism than Scientology.

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