A cursory web search reveals that pressure is coming to bear on the "Church"'s medical choices since the death of John Travolta's son. I am curious enough to add L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health to my reading list. I took a look at the reviews of the book on Amazon, and they are heavily dominated by 5 star believers. The discussion among the non-Scientologists about the book indicates that reviews that do not favor the book are quickly deleted. So I copied one, it's posted below.
Today I ran across the news that Wikipedia has voted ten to one to ban the "Church" from editing its information. “The edits coming out of Church of Scientology servers were of the sort that made their organization look better. Up to a point that’s justifiable, when it comes to correcting inaccuracies or removing poorly sourced negative information. There were times when they went beyond that and deleted well sourced information that was unflattering, and there were times when they insulted other editors in a manner that would reflect poorly upon any religion.”
Interestingly, the USDA has been banned temporarily as well Wikipedia has temporarily blocked edits from the US Department of Justice after someone inside the government agency tried to erase references to a particularly-controversial Wiki-scandal.
To me, this is brilliant. Wikipedia is working to allow regular internet citizens to communicate with each other about religions and governments. They've just made my heroes list.
ONE CRITICAL REVIEW OF DIANETICS FROM AMAZON
313 of 319 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly Dangerous, April 18, 2008
By Glory, Marcabia! "is disgusted with Amazon.com"
I found this book to be filled with jargon, half baked theories and bizarre assertions. Hubbard seems to only be guessing; he gives no clue as to how he arrives at any of his fantastic claims- that one can raise one's IQ, avoid accidents, pretty much eradicate any and all issues in one's life, by clearing away "engrams" created by bad experiences, including *prenatal* experiences.
In short, one will become more or less superhuman- and if not, it's because you're not doing it right- and it's this weird circular logic that makes the book impossible to take seriously. He seems to have started with some interesting borrowed ideas (regression therapy, ritual magick, etc.) and gotten extraordinarily carried away. In short, he combines older forms of psychotherapy with magical techniques and his own version of Buddhist mindfulness meditation.
This could be of limited usefulness, but I am very concerned that the book makes claims that homosexuality, infertility, etc., are 'perversions,' actual physical illnesses that can be 'cured' by Dianetics, and that ulcers and other diseases are caused by unsuccessful attempts at abortion. These are just two of the many odd medical assertions hubbard makes which could cause serious harm were one to prefer Hubbard's advice over proper medical or pychological care. Most disturbing of all, critics of Hubbard's methods are, of course, ill themselves, criminals, or worse, a frighteningly convenient idea.