Although firmly committed to my Catholic faith, I have always been interested in understanding other belief systems. I had heard about an off-beat religion called Scientology some time ago and picked up a few books about it. I do not mean to be disrespectful towards any religion but the more I read, the more it appeared to be a cult, not a religion at all. The past few years there have been several people coming out, claiming the abuses, etc., they experienced or witnessed within the church. Their disclosures were horrifying. Now comes the recent A&E series, “Scientology and the Aftermath.”
In episode five, viewers are taken into the propaganda side of the so-called church along with another claim that brought me to tears. Not only do followers have every aspect of their lives monitored and controlled, members of certain factions are forbidden to have children, and if a woman gets pregnant, she is coerced into getting an abortion or suffer dire consequences, i.e. segregation from other members, separation from her spouse and even forced into performing manual labor. After some further research, others have made the same claim.
What is wrong with this picture? According to the Scientology website, “Scientology not only seeks to improve society through instilling a moral and ethical compass into people but also by getting them to do something positive to help others in society as a practical expression of their religious beliefs.” They also claim to be “the largest non-governmental Human Rights public information campaign on Earth, broadly promoting all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to educate the public on everyone’s fundamental rights…”
Since when is forbidding procreation and forcing abortion moral or ethical? I wonder if the manual labor punishment used for those resisting abortion is their way to induce miscarriage? How can a religion educate the public on everyone’s fundamental rights (which includes LIFE) and refuse those rights to its followers and potential offspring?
Although the "church" disputes all claims against them, an in-depth investigation for potential human rights violations is called for ... don't you think?