Australian Critics of Scientology
This page maintained by David Gerard.

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"It is a petty group which will only be recorded in history for being the first roadkill on the information superhighway." - Dave Bird

Why does this site exist?

Please note that this document will, by its nature, be ever-changing.

My entry from the Who's Who of a.r.s:

David Gerard,, Melbourne, Australia. Vague interest in Scientology as a curious silly thing; then the raid on Dennis Erlich and the threat to Net freedoms I hold dear. Sniped for a while (a big attraction to a.r.s for me was the number of SubGenii here), then Helena Kobrin made trouble with my postmaster and I got angry. Now devote quite a bit of time to a.r.s, Web page maintenance, IRC #scientology, demonstrating and so on. My friends are careful not to mention the 'S' word in my presence in case I start ranting, but are kind enough to relate any new and amusing tidbits crossing their paths and so on. Scientology itself is not important; but the organisation must be made an example of so that others will not fuck with the Net. (By: David Gerard) Web page: Mirrored at:

Why is the whole Net pissed off at Scientology?

There are a fair few Web pages which will introduce you to active criticism of Scientology and to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology - Modemac has a good one to start you off.

There's also my own very short page of links.

Frequently Asked Questions on why I do this

Are you an ex-Scientologist?

No, just a concerned citizen. The vast majority of what I know about Scientology I learned from the Net. All my contact with real-life Scientologists has confirmed it utterly.

(Although, in August 1996, I went into the Perth CoS to have a little fun with them and talked the guy into giving me a six-month introductory membership to the International Association of Scientologists - without me having to buy anything, which is actually against the policy for these things. So my signature on alt.slack promptly became "Now a CARD-CARRYING SCIENTOLOGIST! No, really. Would I lie to you?" And, by the way, they have sent junk mail to the name and address I gave them, so I would be counted amongst their claimed membership numbers. Which should tell you something about how they figure their claimed membership numbers.)

So what's your problem with Scientology?

The actions of the organisation. I consider their actions reprehensible and unacceptable.

For me, it started with (and still is) the attacks on free speech, the abuses of copyright law to silence discussion and the harassment of critics; but the more I find out about the Church of Scientology, the more foul it seems with every new piece of information. I actually find myself freshly disgusted[1] at regular intervals. From their copyright terrorism to the case of Lisa McPherson. What a vile and reprehensible organisation.

So why do you make fun of the religion itself? Bigot!

Because it's bloody funny. The Xenu story is a cracker, for example.

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to poke fun at things, like it or not. You can take a turn at me if you like - I'm sure there's lots of material for you to use if you really want to. Don't bother making it up off the top of your head.

I will take the piss out of the substance of the religion if I feel like it, but that's quite distinct from how I feel about the actions of the organisation. I'm basically a sceptical atheist, but no longer dogmatic about it; if you want to believe a particular variety of fluff, that's absolutely your right. Abuses of social structures, on the other hand, are a different matter - because that affects my life, and is hence my business and concern.

a.r.s tends to operate this way too - no-one is really that worried about the 'free zone' (ex-Scientologists who have left the Church, but still practice the 'tech') - it's the vile actions of the CoS organisation that really get 'em riled. This is not about religion.

(I don't have any personal use for the 'tech', but I must emphasise here that the free-zoners I've met on the net are generally really good folk, who I can only wish the best of results in their personal journeys of self-discovery.)

So are you really into Scientology?

Not as much as you might think. I look forward to the day when I no longer feel I need to know about this stuff. I had a chance at an original hardback copy of Bare-Faced Messiah by Russell Miller (an unauthorised biography of L. Ron Hubbard) and chose not to buy it ... If I wanted souvenirs after this war is over, I would probably want things to do with the people involved that I got to know and like; rather than just a pile of research materials. (I have a rather nice anti-Scientology T-shirt from the, for example.) I mean, really.

The more Scientology I know, the less I want to know. I find it an unbelievably stupid waste of human time and effort. This is information of no conceivable use other than learning it in order to stop the socially abusive organisation running on it.

I do spend a fair bit of time on this stuff, and know it quite well (it's strange but true: a critic of Scientology who reads a.r.s will often know more about the thing than most of its actual practitioners; sort of like anti-Nazi activists who have more fascist materials and understand them better than your average neo-Nazi) but I regard it as an entertaining socially-worthwhile hobby. a.r.s can become a minor obsession, because so much bloody unbelievable stuff happens and the soap-opera value is incredible, so it requires conscious self-control (and a good killfile) on the part of the reader.

I spend far more of my time on partying, rock'n'rolling, a happy domestic life and sleeping excessively than I do on Scientology-bothering.

How much personal knowledge do you have of cults?

For what it's worth, I was in Omegatrend - a schism from Amway - for a while, which is pretty damned cultish actually (in my not so fsckin' humble opinion). I believe I've gotten most of my friends back after that ... That was really pretty damned mild, particularly compared to something like Scientology. But that, combined with learning about Scientology from a.r.s, has helped give me some of the skills to spot cultishness in social groupings a long way off. (It isn't a yes/no thing; it comes in degrees.) Nasty stuff.

(For those reading this because they did a Web search on 'Omegatrend' or 'Amway', may I recommend Amway: The Untold Story and The MLM Survivor's Page - which has a short piece I wrote with just about everything I have to say on the subject of Omegatrend [and some replies from readers]. Also, a comparison of an Amway education and a college education, which certainly also applies to Omegatrend: "Enterprises ... which profess to offer nirvana at the price of intellectual suicide and ethical compromise in the pursuit of fame and fortune.")

I am also a Minister in the Church of the SubGenius.

What do you get out of this?

Scientology is helping the world's problems. What are you doing to help the world's problems?

Whilst many Scientologists are decent people of good intent who sincerely believe that they are working to make the world a better place, it nevertheless remains that Scientology (the organisation; the memetic infection) doesn't do a damned thing that isn't for itself. A machine for grinding up good intentions.

I consider Scientology to be one of the problems itself. Not a big one, but (as I say in my Who's Who entry, above) one that must be dealt with so as to demonstrate that its bright ideas about how to act in the world cannot be gotten away with - by them or anyone else.

I view dealing with Scientology as part of basic social hygiene. The community equivalent of cleaning the toilet on a regular basis. (I think that comparison is quite apt, actually.)

Why don't you get a life?

I have one. But thank you anyway.

[1] The phrase "I actually find myself freshly disgusted" was originally from Rob "henry" Clark, concerning the death of Lisa McPherson.

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