Scientologists* Are Criminals! (*I Mean The Ones Already In Prison, Obviously)


Scientologists are criminals.

Don’t worry, that’s not a wild assertion made to martyr myself as the next cause célèbre of the libel reform campaign (although that’s not a bad idea – I mean who’d heard of the Simon Singh fella before he pointed out the happily bogus claims of the BCA? That’s right: nobody. And now look at him – front page of the BBC, on every skeptical podcast going, and standingly-ovated every time he leaves the house. I think the only way, therefore, to get big in the world of skepticism is now libel martyrdom. Fuck it – Dereck Acorah eats babies and Rupert Murdoch is a first-class cunt).

Anyway, as I was saying, scientologists ARE criminals. Or, at least, some of them are – according to the cult themselves. In fact, more scientologists are criminals than we previously thought, if the cult is to be believed (which, of course, it probably isn’t – because lots of scientologists are criminals, as I say).

I’ll explain, or rather, I’ll let the Telegraph explain:

Scientology ‘has branch in every English prison’

Scientology has obtained a foothold in every prison in England and Wales, a spokesman for the religion claims, despite official figures which show only three prisoners acknowledge following the religion.

Essentially, the crazy cult (who were convicted of activities listed as ‘fraud in an organised gang’ in France last year) have been targeting prisoners across England and Wales, in an attempt to help them see the error of their ways, go straight, expunge their thetons, audit their woes and generally do all that fun scientological stuff that keeps Tom Cruise bouncing on couches and keeps the creepy, sinister smile on Tommy Davis’ face. You see, their organisation has an entire programme dedicated to the rehabilitation of lags (does anybody other than The Sun use the word lag? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used. Other than, you know, jet lag – but I think that’s a different context. Is someone who gets jailed for hijacking planes is known as a jet lag? I’d like to think so).

And what’s this fantastic programme called? Bearing in mind this is meant to be the legitimate, socially-responsible, respectable wing of the weird space-cult?

Criminon.

Really, criminon.

CRIMINON!

Scientologist explain their prisoner rehab scheme

Scientologist explain their prisoner rehab scheme

Which, to me, sounds less like a rehab scheme and more like the name of a robot in a sci-fi future – one of those ones that’s meant to be the butler and do all the menial tasks in a friendly and people-loving way, but entirely unpredictably breaks it’s programming and goes on a rampage, wiping out as much of the human population as it can, in a way that nobody could have ever possibly foresaw when they decided to call it the Criminon 3000. Or something.

Still, enough of the bizarre and evil science fiction – we’ve got scientology to talk about.

A spokesman for CRIMINON claim they’re working with every prison in England and Wales – 139 in all – to get their scheme rolled out. Of course, unsurprisingly, the numbers don’t reflect that – with just 3 prisoners in the country admitting to following Big LRon’s delusions. That actually puts the vast majority of prisoners in the UK in an intellectual class about Criminon’s celebrity advocates – like Kirsie Alley, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson).

Unsurprisingly, there’s been a lot of criticism of Criminon – and it actually extends somewhat beyond the fact that the name’s really shit: the course is based not on peer-reviewed studies, but instead it’s based around the 1981 L Ron Hubbard booklet ‘The Way to Happiness‘; the course is, characteristically and predictably, incredibly disparaging of psychiatrists – something of a theme throughout the crazy and paranoid Hubbard’s work, for some reason; and the course has strong links to Narconon – the Scientological course for drug rehabilitation.

I swear I’m not making these names up (he was a poor science fiction writer, after all).

Both Criminon and Narconon involve the practice of ridding the body of substances via the Purification Rundown – a cleansing ritual involving B3 mega-doses and hyper-extended saunas, which have been linked to a number of injuries and deaths caused by Scientology. The Criminon website itself even hints towards this approach:

This course teaches the student exactly what drugs are and the effects they have on the body and mind. It explains how and why one becomes addicted to drugs in the first place and then details an exact regimen – which involves the use of vitamins and exercise – for freeing a person from the grip of addiction, and all without medical substitutes.

Criminon is an entirely volunteer organisaiton (although, of course, this is the Scientology version of volunteering – which is currently being debated in the courts as ex-Scientologists sue the cult for back pay, having been made to work over 100-hour weeks for almost no pay for years). Digging around the Criminon literature, the volunteer criteria has some interesting highlights:

1. Fund-raising. (Examples could be a sponsored run, setting up a Charity E-Bay account, a sports game where people paid to play or contacting local businesses to get donations). Criminon UK will pay 10% commission on monies raised.

Interesting notion of fund-raising there – collect for us, and we’ll let you keep part of the donations: sounds legally dubious. If I’m wrong there, I’ll happily retract.

The following attributes are essential for becoming a Criminon Tutor.

  • You have a minimum of three hours a week to give to Criminon.
  • You find it easy to write/type a personal letter.
  • You are persistent on a given course of action and are willing to continue to write to offenders even if they don’t reply for a while.

Ah, there’s the scientology we know and love – persistently hassling people even when they don’t reply. Leopards and spots.

Still, it makes a change to see the cult taking criminals, and turning them into Scientologists; we’re used to see it happen the other way around, after all.

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  1. #1 by AexMagd on April 23, 2010 - 11:47

    Where I work (science journal publisher) we get a ton of emails from Narconon advertising their purification rundowns. Probably unfortunate for them that I have the job of junking unwanted emails 🙂

  2. #2 by Rehab clinic on July 12, 2010 - 21:01

    The drug rehab clincs that have nothing to do with narcanon have a far better success rate and they do not leave you with a forced out look on life but a way of thinking that is unique to you. the rehab programmes should not prey on the vunerable when they need help most.

(will not be published)